Your Winter Workout Prep

Your Winter Workout Prep

Following a seasonal workout offers changing gears with nature, regardless of your geographical location. As fall transitions into winter, preparing for this change for your body and mind could be the best workout prep you can implement, which goes beyond just hitting the gym. Try some of these tips to light a fire under your heels so wintertime doesn’t land you on the couch.

Get Social

After going at it alone, it may be time to take advantage of the strength in numbers. Finding a workout partner or joining a workout class (circuit training is great), you can get the things that spur you toward good health which you may not be getting on your own, namely:

  • Camaraderie
  • Positive affirmations
  • Weightlifting support
  • Like minded goal orientation
  • That, “You can do it” push (especially to get out of bed!)

Check community boards like Craigslist or similar platforms as well as calling around to gyms or other activity groups to see if you can get social match for your winter workout.

Walk at Work

Another good approach, if feasible, is walking at work. Instead of sitting at your desk eating your lunch while continuing to grind, get moving. It is an excellent opportunity for you to take a light meal and then walk it off.

Walking directly after finishing a meal can:

  • Promote Healthier Digestion – According to a study published in the Journal for Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, “postprandial [directly after eating] walking accelerated gastric emptying of the meal”
  • Blood Sugar Stabilization – Keeping your blood sugar in check could mean more optimal systemic functioning and less weight gained. A study published in the journal Nutrients concluded that, “Our findings suggest that the timing of light physical activity shortly after eating affects the time-course of postprandial blood glucose…These results support that activity, even for 10 min at very low intensity, may assist in the management of postprandial blood glucose if undertaken when blood glucose is high.”
  • Reduce Gas – Experience less gas if you get up for a walk after you eat. A study published in the medical journal PLoS One which researched people struggling with gas associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) found that, “Based on our findings, increasing the daily step count to 9500 steps from 4000 steps will result in 50% reduction in the severity of symptoms.”

Push The Mental Benefits

Part of your winter workout prep is embracing the mental health benefits of working out. This is especially important during winter months in areas where it gets dark early and morning light comes later. Pushing yourself to maintain any sort of beneficial activity will fire cognitive synapses that surpass the enveloping affects the weather can have on mood. This is often the case when experiencing SAD (seasonal affective disorder) where some people tend to get depressed and unmotivated due to the change in seasonal light. Adhering to a good workout program can push the mental benefits for optimal output. 

The Cleveland Clinic reported that,

“Most people spend less time outside and as a result, their levels of physical activity decrease. However, if you think you might be experiencing SAD, exercise could be a good way to combat it. “Moving your body will compete with that tendency to be sluggish and can produce good brain chemistry,” says Dr. Scott Bea, Dr of Psychology at the Cleveland Clinic, Center for Adult Behavior.

Put on Workout Clothes

The simple act of putting on your workout clothes can put you in a mindset that perpetuates a workout regiment. Whether it is immediately when you get out of bed in the morning, when you get home from work, or you even decide to sleep in your workout clothes it is pretty hard to avoid doing an exercise activity. 

According to a report by the news outlet Today, 

“This simple goal puts people on the right path without much effort, said Brandon Alderman, an exercise psychologist and associate professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Rutgers University. “The idea behind doing that is you’ve met your goal and it’s probably difficult to take those exercise clothes off without actually doing some form of exercise,” he said.”

This fall, fall into your winter workout prep so you can hit the ground running right into the blossom of spring. Be sure to maintain a solid, dominantly plant-based diet through it all and as others come out of the winter doldrums all bleary-eyed and bloated, you will be way ahead of the curve while they try to catch up.