Health & Wellness

Staying fit in the winter

by Kayzia Boilard

Winter is here, and that means staying warm and cozy is more appealing than ever.

It also means warm comfort foods that are quick and easy to prepare make their way into our diets more and more, especially for busy students. Unfortunately, baggy winter sweaters and tempting comfort foods (that tend to be unhealthy) can sometimes make it challenging to stay in shape. But this doesn’t have to be the case! In the fitness world, the saying goes “bikini bodies are made in the winter,” plus a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of tips for staying fit in the winter.

 

Plan workouts around your weekly schedule

As busy students, we understand that life can get pretty hectic, but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your workouts. In fact, getting those workouts in is good for you since being active will give you more energy and relieve stress. So to make sure you’re setting aside time to break a sweat, write it into your weekly schedule. This is a great way to remind yourself of when you have time to hit the gym, and it’ll also encourage you to go since it will be a part of your plans.

Calendar on iPad, notepad and pen

Participate in outdoor and indoor activities

A lot of people think that with colder weather, outdoor workouts are next to impossible but that’s not the case. With snow, come many calorie-burning activities! Try skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or skating. Not only do all of these winter activities work your muscles, they’re also a lot of fun! And if you’re not exactly into the great outdoors, attending indoor group classes at your gym like yoga or hot yoga (even better in the winter) will help to keep you in shape.

People outside, snowshoeing

Replace unhealthy comfort meals with healthy alternatives

The colder the weather, the warmer foods we crave. While the temptation of wanting to order that warm and cheesy pizza when there’s a blizzard outside is completely understandable, doing this all winter will definitely make staying fit a lot more difficult than it has to be. So instead of ordering a burger or making heavy meals like pasta, opt for healthy alternatives. For example, you can use cauliflower as a crust and make your own healthy pizza. You can even make zucchini noodles to replace your pasta. This is a great way to enjoy those warm meals, without the guilt!

Cauliflower

Invest in a yoga mat and weights

If going to the gym or doing outdoor activities in the middle of winter doesn’t appeal to you (or isn’t in your budget), staying fit from the comfort of your home can be just as effective. If you invest in a yoga mat and some dumbbell weights, you might just be surprised at how sore your body can be after a session of yoga or pilates. If you’re new to home workouts, do a little bit of research or watch YouTube videos to learn which workouts work best for you.

Weights on rack

Stay fit with a friend

Finding motivation to workout and eat healthy on your own (especially in the winter) isn’t always easy. This is why getting a friend, or group of friends, to do activities with you is a great way to stay fit. Whether you go skating or attend fitness classes at the gym together, having a friend join your fitness routine will motivate you to keep going.

Friends doing yoga

The winter weather doesn’t have to keep you from staying fit if you don’t let it. Enjoy fun outdoor winter activities while the snow is here, cook healthy alternatives to warm comfort foods, and you’ll have no problem maintaining your fitness all winter long!

Remember that if you need any advice or help with your eating habits or health in general IGNITE’s Health Plan has tons of health and wellness services you can take advantage of. Visit us for our Health & Dental 101 Workshop at both the North and Lakeshore campuses to learn more.