Many of us make health and fitness related goals throughout the year, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the gym.
While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health. Now that winter is coming, and Covid -19 is still going to be a lingering threat, let’s see what small steps and goals you can focus on. How can you improve your health this winter?
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.” Perfect for this hibernation weather and the colder circumstances, wouldn’t you agree?
Here are your 10 steps to action, in order to improve your health this winter:
1. Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra every week. Even if you gain just a kilo or two every month, the extra weight adds up quickly. Weight maintenance is a great health indicator.
2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days. Get up every hour, park further when doing your necessity shopping and yes you better believe cleaning your floors count!
Something to consider when it comes to your health.
Most of us have been less active the past 2 months, thinking it might be easier to take winter ‘off’. But this is not a good attitude to have. Remember that your decisions in winter, affect your health (and body) in summer.
Even if you haven’t had the most active lock-down, there’s NO reason you can’t start now
3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, make yourself a delicious and clean overnight oats. Make sure you are getting some protein with your first meal to keep you satisfied for longer.
4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. If you’re like the average person you have less fibre meals than needed for a healthy colon and therefore digestion.
Why is this important for your health during winter?
More fibre means better digestion, absorption and expulsion. With colder weather, we are less likely to eat salads like we do in summer. We need to still get our fibre in somehow. And whole grains are great for this!
5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
With winter approaching, make this a baked vegetable salad, or even stir fry or steamed vegetable side dishes.
6. Trim the fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter. Non-stick spray goes a long way too
7. Keep up your water intake, just keep your water interesting with sugar free flavour drops. Turn your tea into an ice/warm tea drink of up to 1L. Stay hydrated to stay full and functioning optimally.
8. Downsize. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat.
9. Keep moving. Yes, motivation to exercise in colder weather is hard but stick to training you enjoy and find a fitness friend to keep you accountable😊
On the @byfitfarmgirl IG account there’s loads of workouts to keep you going. Workouts with or without equipment, yoga flows and more.
Don’t just save workouts online, actually do them..
10. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less and chose better options.
Let us know if these tips help you keep feeling strong and healthy! Beat the winter blues this year, don’t just aim to gain as little weight as possible. Let’s work together to actually improve your health this winter