Winter is a tempting excuse to stay at home, drink hot chocolate, and laze underneath warm blankets all day. Come spring, this sedentary lifestyle will be evident in how most of our clothes would barely fit, and going up a flight of stairs would already feel like our lungs are bursting.
To make things worse, it’s tempting to gorge on those year-end feasts and Christmas parties. So on top of being unable to exercise that much, our food consumption also increases.
Thankfully, fashion trends at this time of the year are about big coats and accessories that can hide the building corpulence of our bodies. But instead of relying on these, we should think about how we can maintain our fitness. The short time we indulge in these unhealthy tendencies can greatly affect our health and impact the years ahead of us.
Here are a few things we can do during winter to keep fit while being warm and cozy.
Regularly take a brisk walk.
Walk when you need to go to the supermarket, to the bank, to wherever you need to pay your bills. If you don’t have a car, it’s also better to walk to your destination right now since the pandemic has not yet been fully resolved. It’s better to be in the open air compared to confined spaces like the subways and buses.
On top of these errands, try to incorporate walking into your daily schedule. Your office might have been lenient with the holiday vacations, allowing you to sleep in during these cold days. But make an effort to get out of bed and take a brisk walk around the block before or after you have your morning coffee.
Engage in sports and outdoor activities.
This is the season for ice hockey, skating, skiing, and snowboarding. But if you’re not fond of the outdoor activities in ice and snow, you can try indoor golf, for one. You would not have lakes and wide fields to go around, but you can still practice your putting. If you want a more rigorous activity, you can also go to indoor tennis courts or find a place to shoot hoops if that’s your preference.
Sweat lazily: go to the sauna.
An old tradition, this way of getting rid of body toxins is the easiest. But you must understand that it wouldn’t make you lose excess weight as exercising does. It would help your cardiovascular system, though, so your blood circulation is improved. However, check with your dermatologist if you have skin concerns, as the sauna’s dry heat can have different effects depending on your skin condition.
It’s not advisable to go to the sauna every day, however. You can probably go three times a week at most. If you have heart problems, you also need to check with your doctor as it can increase your heart rate.
At the very least, move around the house.
To be clear, household tasks are not enough to burn off the food you’d be taking in these holidays. But at least you’ll be doing something rather than staying lethargic on the couch or the bed.
Now is the best time to give your entire home a good dusting. Prepare for the new year by clearing out your basement, garage, and attic. Since it’s also the time for charity institutions to collect second-hand things to give away to the less fortunate, take the time to sort through your old stuff. Don’t give out junk. These institutions and their beneficiaries are not garbage collectors. You might have appliances and gadgets that are still working perfectly, but you’ve just stored them because you had upgraded. Give these away and free up your space.
Other relatively vigorous tasks you can do around the house are vacuuming, changing the curtains, and beating out rugs and carpets.
This would be counter instinctive when you see the amount of food, also more delicious at this time of year, in family dinners. To motivate yourself, think about the expensive clothes you bought from the year-end sales that wouldn’t fit you after your binge. You can go on a diet in the next months, of course. But it’s healthier if you don’t subject your body to extremes. Kill your cravings by having black coffee first thing in the morning. Mint also helps. Put it in your afternoon tea, and don’t pair your drinks with sweets.
The resolution to keep healthy during winter is often difficult to follow through. But think of how much you did to keep fit the entire year. Those would all be wasted if you succumb to the temptations now. Be firm and always have your long-term self in mind.