Winter can be a tough time to exercise. Cold mornings and shorter days mean we can lose our ‘gymthusiasm’. This lack of motivation to stay fit and healthy can lay the foundation for a weakened immune system, making us more likely to catch colds and feel generally low and sluggish.
Getting into some healthy winter habits is key to preventing these patterns occurring.
Here are 5 tips to help:
We crave more carbohydrates in winter, which help lift our mood and energy levels. These cravings get stronger as the day goes on.
Eating a protein-packed breakfast will help counter this, stabilising your blood sugar and keeping your energy levels topped up. Keep healthy snacks to hand all day, particularly during that afternoon slump. A lunchtime workout may help to boost serotonin levels without resorting to carbs.
The naturally-occurring antibiotics in mushrooms give them medicinal properties which help us fight off illnesses. Shitake are tasty but plain button ones have the same benefits. Add them to your meals throughout the winter – they make a particularly good meat substitute in this delicious Easy Vegetarian Lasagne.
We’ve raved about fibre recently, and for good reason. The soluble fibre found in vegetables such as apples, nuts and oats boost your immune function, enhance brain function and aids in weight loss. It’s a particularly good nutrient to add to your meals throughout the winter – try this Simple Autumn Root Veg Stew which is packed with fibre.
Onions, garlic, coriander and ginger all make food taste great, and they also increase immune function. Get a big dose by making some warming soups, chillies and curries. Also use turmeric as much as you can – it contains curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant shown to reduce inflammation and combat heart disease, and will help fight those seasonal viruses.
Having a regular, predictable winter routine will help you resist the temptation of dodging workouts. Choose your exact times and activities for each day and you will find it easier to stick to. Even better, refer a friend to hussle and you can encourage each other out when the weather’s miserable.
that picture is the fun side of winter exercise so let's hope we get some sunshine soon. I do keep up the gym but some of the sneezing and snuffling that goes on means it isn't always that healthy. I wish ill people would stay home!
For some reason I didn't think mushrooms were that nutritious. Maybe they just don't look it. Well I am proved wrong!
My gymthusiasm is great at the moment. But I still feel I'm still riding the post-Xmas health bubble and am just waiting for it to burst and realise it's actually winter, and I actually want to be indoors on the sofa eating biscuits!!
any excuse for extra curry, particularly in miserable weather like this. It's easy food to stuff with vegetables as well.