Let’s face it, winter isn’t the easiest time to stick to a healthy diet and fitness plan, however hard you try. With changeable weather, festive events and naughty treats putting sleigh sized obstacles in the way, it is hardly surprising that even our best intentions can get lost in the tinsel and snowballs.
However, you can stay healthy during the winter and we have had a look at how you can stay top of your game until spring comes along.
Keep an eye on the carbs
You know the ones – toasted white bread with lashings of butter, hot pasta loaded with pesto and, fresh baguettes stacked high with sausages, mustard and pickles. Yes, these snacks taste amazing, but opting for proteins like eggs and lean turkey, together with brown rice or sweet potatoes, will keep you fuller for longer and this may help you exercise harder too because you are taking on the right fuel to give you energy.
Mushrooms all the way
You might not know this, but mushrooms are jam-packed with nutrients and vitamins and are perfect when it comes to winter cooking. The humble mushroom is a great source of the antioxidants that help protect your body from the free radicals that can cause conditions like cancer and heart disease, and they boost your immune system too. They come with the copper that helps your body make red blood cells and a whole host of amazing B Vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Whether you add them to soups and stews, grill them as part of a hearty winter breakfast, stuff them with spinach or cook up a risotto with brown rice, buy them, use them and enjoy their goodness!
Eat your greens
You are never more than a couple of sneezes away from a full-blown cold or nasty tummy bug, so you need to ensure your immune system is firing on all cylinders so you don’t get sick. We don’t really need to tell you this, but winter is the most important time to load up on fruit and veg if you want to stay well. Fresh, tinned and frozen options are all good for you, and you will find that a good dose of greens – be that kale, spinach, cabbage, kiwis, apples or grapes – mixed with the rainbow of colours and goodness found in peppers, berries, carrots and oranges, you will be on your way to good health whatever bugs are in the air this winter.
Put exercise in the diary
With office parties, shopping trips and drinks with the girls all coming up, if you don’t put your exercise dates in the diary, you just won’t go! Decide which classes you are going to go to and book them, make a regular slot for your runs by the river and even put time aside for a regular massage so you can stretch out those aches and pains and relax!
Go inside to exercise
If you want to continue to exercise, but the cold winter weather puts you off, the simple answer is to move inside during the really chilly months. Your local gym, swimming pool, yoga centre or even your living room are all options to ensure you keep your workouts up, without getting wet and cold outside.
Keep an eye on alcohol
The odd beer here and glass of wine there might not seem like a lot at the time, but they all add up. We don’t want to be kill joys, but it is worth remembering that alcohol not only takes away your inhibitions (remember Keith and the Christmas party) but can add to your waistline, leave you hungover and also make you feel lethargic. Try to have a couple of booze free days a week, drink plenty of water in between those cocktails, and even offer to be the designated driver sometimes so you can skip the cider and feel better for it.
We hope these hints and tips help you keep feeling tip-top all winter long, and if you have any other ideas, we are all ears!
Team Pure Beauty