Many of us find it difficult to get up and start working out in the morning during the cold days of winter. Unfortunately, it is during the winter when we need to work out the most. When the temperatures drop, our body chemistry changes and we tend to pack more calories and fat. Staying in shape during the winter and fall seasons is critical if you want to look stunning in your swimsuit in the summer.
Fitness magazine says that during the winter “Your body’s chemical switch has flipped to storing more fat.” A Recent discovery by researchers from the University of Colorado suggests that men and women tend to store fat twice as much during winter than during summer. They conducted a study on a group of 6 men and 12 women during summer and winter. They found out that the production of ATLPL, a fat promoting chemical, causes us to store fat and gain weight during the winter. (Fitness Magazine)
Laura Topham wrote on the Daily Mail Online that we gain weight and get fatter during the winter because of genetic reasons. “In our ancestors’ time, the winter months were associated with famine. One theory is that we’re genetically programmed to increase fat stores in autumn to help us survive — known as the ‘thrifty gene hypothesis’.”
To keep your fat off and stay healthy during the winter, you need to stick to a workout routine and healthy diet plan that will burn the excessive fat and keep you in shape. Here are five tips based on professional advice from trainers and dietitians around the United States.
1. Stay warm
During the winter season our body tires to fight cold and makes some adjustments to cope with the weather. When your body is fighting the cold weather, it is best to dress appropriately and drink plenty of body-warming liquids. Pay attention to layers of clothing, cover up as much as you can and get some hot drinks full of healthy calories to heat you up. Do some warm-up exercises to get your spirits up. Once you feel your blood flowing and body heating up, you will be motivated to hit the gym or go out for a jog. Ray Ignosh, M.S., C.S.C.S., and a U.S.A cycling certified coach recommends easing into winter activities.
2. Workout to burn fat
Stay active. A combination of cardio workout, weight training and balanced diet will get you leaner, stronger and help you lose weight faster. Weight training is the best way to get in shape during the winter. To get a lean body, try weight lifting exercises with light weights and more repetitions. Do five sets of each exercise, counting to 25 or more repetitions for each set.
Exercises may increase a certain muscle enzyme that promotes the burning of fat, to offset the fat producing effects during the winter. Many women make the mistake of starving themselves skinny. Depriving yourself of nutrition and calories will have negative effects on your health. This will slow your metabolism down and encourage fat storage. When your body senses a shortage of food, it automatically starts storing fat. On top of that, your slow metabolism will make it harder to burn fat. When you don’t eat enough, you will also feel weak and become vulnerable to diseases.
3. Schedule your workout times
One of the most challenging parts of the winter for many people is the shorter days and longer nights. Besides the cold weather, many people find it difficult to concentrate on outdoor activities when it’s dark outside. Use your planners and iPhones to remind you of your workout schedule despite the weather and daylight. It can be tough to get out if it’s dark and cold but “it’s important to budget time for exercise and get up a little earlier to fit in time at the gym or outside.” says Ryan Kohler, M.S., C.S.C.S. and senior coach and nutrition manager for Carmichael Training Systems in Colorado Springs, CO. (Fitbie)
4. Find winter-friendly activities
If you are used to doing some outdoor activities during the summer like swimming, jogging, cycling, etc. and get discouraged because of the cold and snow, you might find some alternate activities to do in the winter. There are plenty of physical activities you can do indoors or engage in winter sports. Take up yoga classes or pilates if you haven‘t tried them yet. It gives you something new to do and get physically involved and active. It will also give you an opportunity to work out and learn new things.
5. Find more fun activities outdoors
Winter can be really fun if you know what to do. There are plenty of fun activities you can do outside in the winter even if it’s too cold or too dark outside for your regular workout routine. Building a fire, having a snowball fight, skiing, skating, shoveling snow, snowboarding, building a snowman and so on can be very fun activities that burn calories and help you stay active and healthy.
Winter months can be brutal for some people because of the daylight and climatic changes. Your activity level may fluctuate due to environmental factors and you may become reluctant to go out for your regular workout routines. However, it is best to stay active and keep those pounds off as much as possible during the winter. It is the winter season that we need to work out more intensely to stay in shape.
Wake up early and add some warm up exercises to your daily routine. Go outside and get some outdoor fun instead of staying home and watching TV. It might take some time for you to get used to the climate and time changes. Dress warm and drink some hot drinks and start your day as usual. It is very important that you stay on track with your workout routine and continue working out regularly as a part of your daily life.
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Source: Balanced Life Team