DON’T let the approaching winter months put you off your exercise and healthy eating routine. While temperatures in Durban don’t plummet to the extent of our up-country neighbours, you will find us hunkered down indoors rather than embracing the cooler outdoors.
It’s no surprise therefore that come the end of winter during which we’ve over-indulged in hearty comfort foods, we find we’ve packed on unwanted weight that leaves us feeling body conscious and demotivated as Summer arrives and the beach calls.
Fitness trainer Nick Robert points out that the answer is to keep nutrition and training during the winter months balanced. He offers the following advice:
- Make the clever choices for alternate foods without feeling guilty or over eating. Choosing soups and clean blended shakes over bread and high sodium-based foods is the better and more nutritional option during the cooler weather.
- Water is a huge part of this process, not only for hydration but overall longevity and weight loss. Drink 500mls of ice-cold water one hour before a meal to not only aid regulated weight loss, but because the water is so cold, it forces the body to create warmth thereby burning calories with every meal.
- Stay away from fizzy, sparkling and carbonated drinks during winter. Enjoy black coffee on those winter mornings when you wake up to a cold weekend or have your first cup of coffee of the day as you tackle your emails on a Monday morning. Not many people are aware that black coffee not only aids energy through its caffeine content, but it has shown to stimulate thermogenesis which heats up the body thereby increasing metabolism.
- Winter months also seem to clear out the gym and roads are extraordinarily quiet as road runners and cyclists choose to stay under the covers, rather that hitting the road and their exercise routine. When it comes to exercise, it’s important to keep the word balance in mind as it not only mentally connects us with exercise but also creates an incentive and reward for us on a daily basis. Grab a pair of tera bands, a BOSU ball and a workout mat and instead of the cold morning hassle of getting up and forcing yourself to the gym, stay at home and do a light 30 minute workout, even if it is in the warmth and comfort of your own lounge.
The beauty of exercising is it can be done anywhere in the world, and we often make excuses that seem to cover up for our laziness. Imagine doing even 4 x 30 minute sessions per week during winter and creating a reward at the end of the week. It can be as small as a cheat meal, maybe clothing that you have wanted for ages or something that fulfils you as an individual. Never feel forced or intimidated by the fact that you have to gym 6 days a week or you have to train two hours daily. Exercising needs to be something you enjoy; something that is realistic to your own lifestyle and something sustainable for your own health and longevity.