7 Ways to Keep your Health Resolutions Going Strong this Winter
February – the month that follows the ringing in of the new year and all those amazing resolutions you set for yourself. You know the ones: more exercise, less sugar, more sleep and less stress.
Unfortunately, many people start with the best of intentions only to find those resolutions are a thing of the past. The time between the holidays and the first signs of spring shouldn’t be a time of hibernation. Instead, make it the perfect time to forge ahead with your goals and prepare for warmer days.
We have you covered this winter with these 7 tips for giving those new year’s resolutions the longevity they deserve.
Healthy eating habits
It’s no secret that nutrition plays a vital role in making our bodies feel good. We also know that maintaining a body fat percentage in the healthy range puts people at a much lower risk for developing disease. Maintaining a proper diet through winter will prevent unnecessary gain.
Luckily, there are easy and delicious ways to continue eating healthy through the winter months.
Eat the Rainbow Simply put, when you fill your body with a variety of fruits and vegetables, you are less apt to dine on less healthy food. By giving your body what it needs in terms of vitamins and nutrients through produce, your cravings will be satisfied.
Greens - Fill your plate with greens like spinach, kale or peas for more potassium, Vitamin C, K, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid.
Oranges and yellows - Carrots are often the first one we think of for improved vision, but cantaloupe and pumpkin can give your skin a healthy glow while bumping up your immune system.
Reds - Tomatoes and red peppers are just two plant-based foods with lycopene that will reduce the risk of cancer.
Whites -Though culprits of bad breath, eating onions and garlic will help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure while also preventing diabetes. Mushrooms are also a great cancer fighter to eat year-round.
Blues and Purples - Blueberries, eggplant and grapes are rich in antioxidants that help fight aging while also giving your brain a mental boost.
Lean Protein - Ideally, 20 – 30 percent of your diet should consist of lean protein. Strong bones can only develop and be maintained through a diet full of this essential macronutrient. Bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood all rely on these amino acids to build a strong body. Fish, eggs, and chicken are all excellent choices to use as a base. For vegetarians, great substitutes for meat are tofu and beans.
Fats - Fat is an essential component on your daily menu. Coconut or avocado oil, nuts and seeds will increase fullness and combat the urge to eat empty calories.
Healthy Snacks - Being hungry at inopportune times is one of the easiest ways to derail your nutrition resolutions. Be sure to have healthy snacks available to curb your cravings until your next meal. Some great examples include hard-boiled eggs, mixed nuts, fresh berries, kale chips or apples with almond butter.
Balance and round out the rest of your diet with other foods that make you feel your best. Eating healthy through winter doesn’t mean giving up your favorite comfort foods. Chilis, soups and stews are some favorites easily modified to give you the maximum benefit of some of the healthiest foods.
When eating a banana, you are getting a pretty large dose of serotonin, mixed with additional benefits like potassium and vitamin d. That’s plenty of reasons to put a smile on.
Exercising as a way of life
Full gym parking lots and exercise class waiting lists abound in the new year, but this quickly fades. According to one study, people averaged 11 minutes less per day of movement in the winter than in the summer. So, encouraging yourself to stay active through the winter months is important. Identifying the type of exercise you enjoy will keep you motivated to keep moving until spring arrives.
Exercise Classes - Yoga, spin, Pilates, HIIT and boxing are just some of the options that are available to you. Big box gyms offer an array of classes or look for niche studios in your area to find exactly what you like. Many even offer initial free classes. This way there is no excuse for you not to find the perfect exercise that you enjoy while maximizing your calorie burn.
Cardio - Not everyone likes to work out in a group setting. If you are working up a sweat, it counts. Running, cycling and swimming are all solitary ways to burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time. Since winter doesn’t always allow these activities to be done outside, now might be a good time to invest in a piece of home fitness equipment. Treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines are sold at various price points to fit your budget.
Strength Training - Adding strength-training to your workout routine is a necessary component. It’s a no-brainer that strength training increases muscle mass, but you might not know that also means a stronger heart. Creating a workout routine that includes strength-training will also lead to increased bone strength, better coordination and improvement in your other workout activities.
Stretching - A stretching routine is often skipped before or after a workout. But in the winter, stretching exercises are even more important. Because the temperature is lower, so is your body’s. This makes muscles tighten and more prone to injury. Some basic stretching exercises will not only help your fitness, but will improve your overall health.
Once you have found what you enjoy, write out your routine and stick to it. Setting goals for yourself and booking classes in advance will ensure you show up and sweat.
Meditation and Yoga
The feeling of warmth is often what finds us retreating to our beds during the winter months. Meditation and yoga are two ways you can keep your mind and body fit while also keeping the chills at bay. Moving slowly comes more naturally during the colder months, so meditating or yoga can be a great supplement to your higher impact exercise.
For yoga, try a few heart-opening poses. Cobra, fish and bridge are great ones to try. They will warm up your body while also increasing blood flow to help boost the immune system.
Meditating requires carving out quiet time in a peaceful space. This might need to be before everyone else is awake, so you’ll want to warm up fast on those cold mornings. Try poses that create warmth in your body. This can be done by being mindful of the cool breath you inhale and then being aware of the warm air around you as you exhale. In doing so, you will also create an obvious lifting of your mood to prepare you for your day and the rest of the season.
The essentials for a good health
By now, most of us have heard the general rule of thumb: drink 8 glasses of water per day. Experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest it’s a reasonable goal, but that other factors play a role in how much a person needs. For example, someone who exercises harder and more frequently is going to need more. On the other hand, diets rich in fruits and vegetables allow a person to need less. The easiest way to tell if you’re getting enough water is that you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light yellow or colorless.
By drinking plenty of water, especially in drier months, you are ensuring that your body is getting the right amount of water to maintain proper function of every cell, tissue and organ in your body. Try herbal tea to give your body that extra boost of moisture on a cold day.
So far, you’ve learned about proper nutrition and how to exercise through winter, but if you get sick, it’s almost impossible to maintain the same level of activity. Building up your immune system to ward off pesky winter illnesses is another top priority. One of the easiest ways to do this is by frequent hand-washing. What may surprise you, however, is how easily your immune system can boost through practicing the other tips suggested – mainly nutrition, hydration, exercise and getting outdoors! Here are a few additional ways to stay germ-free:
Eat mushrooms These powerhouses are packed with beta glucans that give great protection against cold viruses.
Heal your gut Create good bacteria in your gut by taking a probiotic. Consuming gelatin is also a great way to build immunity from the inside by lining the gut with a thick jelly-like collagen.
Lower stress Journaling, listening to relaxing music and laughing are all great ways to reduce anxiety and boost immunity.
With the reduced amount of daylight in the winter months, you wouldn’t think sleeping would be hard to come by from November to March. But the lack of daylight causes the body to produce an overabundance of melatonin, the chemical responsible for sleep-wake cycles. This can cause people to feel extra tired and sluggish. For this reason, creating a proper sleep routine where you are getting at least 7.5 hours per night is necessary. Sleep is another huge component of building immunity. Sleep also allows you to reap the benefits of your exercise so be sure to hit the hay at a reasonable time each night.
If you live somewhere cooler, it can be tempting to stay indoors. But dressing in layers can ensure that you can enjoy some much-needed sunshine while staying comfortable. The positive effects of sunlight on the mind and body don’t stop during the winter. Be sure to take it outside when you can to fight those winter blues.
Vitamin D Most people don’t get enough vitamin D through diet, so the very best way is to absorb it through the skin from sunlight.
Combat depression Spending too much time indoors and away from sunlight can lead to lethargy and an overall feeling of sadness. Getting light activity outdoors can lead to calmer and relaxed mind.
Immunity When inside, germs and bacteria get recycled through the air. Too much time spent inside leads to increased exposure to sickness. Being in fresh, outdoor air – even when it’s cold – will make you less likely to become ill.
Did you know? Biotin is important for healthy skin and nails, and it’s great for your eye health, liver and nervous system.
Beauty from within
Codeage beauty Tonic includes a potent blend of beauty boosting biotin, an organic food blend to boost the body's natural production of collagen and whole food vitamins for added hair and nail beauty so you can look and feel at your best.*
Biotin also known as vitamin B7, has many important functions for our bodies. Biotin is water-soluble which means that the body does not store it. This is why you probably heard about many people taking biotin supplements for healthier hair, stronger nails and more youthful skin. Biotin is necessary for the function of several enzymes known as carboxylases. They participate in important metabolic pathways such as the production of glucose and fatty acids. This vitamin is essential for energy metabolism however there is no need to worry, biotin deficiency is quite rare. Additionally, folate is added to Codeage Beauty Tonic for our bodies to make DNA and for our cells to divide. Folate ie essential for women who are pregnant due to its health benefits of making red blood cells and repairing DNA. *
Since biotin helps protect and promote healthy skin, hair and nails, vitamins C & E are also added for protection. You probably know that vitamin C does a lot of good for our bodies and even for the hair. Vitamin C is responsible for the synthesis of collagen in the body which helps to keep the skin looking young and flexible and promotes healthy hair growth and regeneration. Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant which prevents the damage of the hair follicles from free radicals. Vitamin C deficiency can result in hair loss, split ends and general illnesses.
Winter doesn’t have to be a time for your goals to go by the wayside. Be accountable and continue working toward the resolutions you made to yourself in the new year. Make a plan that incorporates these 7 tips and you will surely be on your way to creating a fit and healthier you through winter and beyond.