Exercise is proven to help manage stress and decrease anxiety, so integrating fitness into your daily routine will help bring balance and calm to your life during the holidays and throughout the winter. Stay motivated with these simple tips to keep you stress-free and cheerful throughout the cold season.
1. Bundle Up and Buddy Up
When the weather turns cold, don’t let that cramp your workout routine. Throw on some warm garb and make a consistent weekly schedule to exercise with friends. Working out with friends is extremely motivating and forces you to hold each other accountable to make those workout dates!
2. Little Things Make the Difference
Don’t underestimate the power of little things, over time these small action steps can have a profound impact on your health. Take the stairs or bike to work, try to sneak in exercise and stretching whenever you can. Perform tricep dips off a chair, push-ups during commercial breaks, and calf raises while waiting in line at the grocery store.
As little as ten minutes of exercise a day over the course of a year can make a huge impact on your overall health.
As an alternative to the daily coffee break, try ten minutes of jump rope to rejuvenate your body and mind, or take a walk around the block with coworkers or friends.
3. Work Hard, Play Hard
Hit the gym before the holiday party, it will make those indulgences taste so much sweeter. Try resistance training to rev up your metabolism. The more muscle tone you have the more efficiently your body will burn calories.
A helpful hint: the lower body contains more muscle mass than the upper body, making the legs and butt a great target for boosting metabolism overall.
That is one of the reasons why the squat is called the king of all exercises! Don’t forget to workout out the upper body as well. These muscles are particularly important for daily functions like lifting and helping to maintain an upright confident posture. Building muscle also helps create joint stability, which aids in preventing future injury, and helps maintain bone mass as we age.
4. Pump It Up
Weight bearing activities such as weight-lifting help build bone density, which is important because most people reach peak bone mass (i.e. the body naturally stops making bone) around age 30. After that point, it is important to keep a consistent fitness routine to maintain bone strength and prevent osteoporosis. Muscles fibers react to movement and resistance, so if the resistance is too light, the body will not be challenged to change.
This one goes out to the ladies: don’t be afraid of lifting a little iron.
Women shouldn’t worry about gaining too much muscle as they produce less of the hormone testosterone, which is responsible for helping men “bulk up.”
Keep your eye on the prize during these cold winter months and remember that anything worth having takes time and effort!
Adapted from the original article.
Kim Denkhaus, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with her private practice based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In a modern-day society focused on convenience and fast-paced lifestyles, Kim is on a mission to help people reconnect with food in a sustainable, healthier way that will help them appreciate where their food comes from and empower them to use use whole foods to fuel and nourish their bodies.