As the winter sets in and the holiday season is upon us, it can be challenging for many of us to find ways to keep up with a fitness routine. The months of December through February are usually the coldest and darkest of the year here in Saint Louis, so it is no surprise how easy it can be to fall into that dark hole of cookies, popcorn tins, and Netflix binges. Yes, we all know how great we feel when we do reserve time for physical activity. We sleep better, our mood is better, we are more productive throughout the day, we digest food better, and feel so much better about our weight.
Some of the most disciplined individuals seem to still find a way to get it done and so I thought that a great blog post would be offer suggestions and encouragement for this season. I find one of the best ways to maintain healthy habits is to transition with the seasons. Maybe even find something to look forward to. With a “kick-off” date and a definite “time line”. Many of the runners at our office tell me that the reason they sign up for that next race is not just because they love running that much but to keep them in the routine of exercising regularly. It makes sense to me! Keeping ourselves accountable is half the battle (maybe even more so than that). Here are some ideas to keep on top of your goals and keep fitness fun.
Set priorities for the new year
If you are like me, you are always working on something. The winter season is a great time to evaluate where you have come from and where you would like to go in the new year. Try making a list of your goals. All of them that you can think of. Just keep that pen moving. Okay, how you would like to see things, in a perfect world... As your brainstorm, reflect on how it really makes you feel. If you get that tingle on the inside that say I am excited, hopeful, and fired up about it, move that one to the top of your list! I suggest you shift your focus to the top three that make you most excited.
Whether you are doing a 30-day challenge or picking up a kettle bell class with your favorite trainer, the wintertime is a great opportunity to build strength. The good news is that no matter your age or fitness level today, you can get stronger.
Creating the time and space for an active recovery period is extremely important. By active recovery I don’t mean just lounging around, effort is required but the activities and more “yin” or restorative in nature. Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, Reiki, meditation. Maybe it is a routine or habit that changes like switching to tea instead of coffee. How about, start a new book, take a cooking class to get ideas for new ways of preparing meals. Whatever you decide, once you are outside of your comfort zone, embrace it. Growth happens there!