Winterizing Your Body

(I wrote this article for MomsWhoTRIblog yesterday, but I thought it might be of some interest to you too.)

In spite of all the glorious aspects of autumn, it heralds an end to (un-bundled) hiking, water skiing, swimming and a myriad of other fun ways to sneak activity in our lives. Usually, more of our time is spent indoors with quieter hobbies. We shift our focus to look forward to once-a-year favorite foods, hot chocolate, good books by a fireplace and board games with friends. So what happens to your exercise routine? Can you maintain progress toward your health goals even in the face of chilly obstacles?

When I was a kid, my parents’ boat was the favorite summer pastime. As September slipped over the horizon, we begged to get in one more trip to the lake before Daddy winterized the boat.

In the marine world, winterizing a boat is the single most important maintenance duty. If it is done correctly, winterizing simplifies getting going again in the summer. It greatly extends the life of the boat and its engine by protecting its components during winter hibernation.

Our bodies are intricate machines. It makes sense that caring for them, especially in the slower seasons of life, will lengthen our lives, prevent injuries and keep us on track for toward our health goals.

So how do you winterize your body?

1. Establish a new routine.
Don’t expect to be able to keep the same pace that you did all summer. That doesn’t mean take it easy! It just means you might have to get creative in order to squeeze in workouts around the holidays, snow storms, etc. Find a couple workouts you can do without any equipment. Write them out and stuff them in  your suitcase when traveling. Find a couple workouts you can do in 16 minutes – try using the Tabata protocol.

2. Invest in a good pair of mittens and a good beanie cap.
Everyone has their preferences, but I tried everything before I found what I think is the best solution to miserably cold runs. A fleece lined beanie cap can make me start to steam, even in the coldest weather. Mittens keep your fingers tucked in close to each other, snug as bugs in a rug. And purchase some Hot Hands – those things are like magic!

3. Layer, layer, layer!

4. Find a couple workout DVDs that you enjoy.
Sometimes it’s nice to know just exactly how long your workout is going to take. Especially when you know that the rest of the house will be waking soon, or others are waiting on you to do something.

5. Throw a make-over party!
     Ask your friends about their healthy versions of your favorite holiday dishes. If no one has any, challenge them all to Google one, test it and share the results. Delicious, easy versions of nearly every recipe are out there! Check out Hungry Girl, Chocolate Covered Katie,  Skinny Taste and Eating Well. 

I’m sure there are other obstacles to winter workouts, but I’m just as sure there are solutions to every single one of them. What are your plans for a healthy winter and happy holiday season?

Boat winterization facts: Article Source:

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