Sally Perkins explains how to stay fit and prevent weight gain over the winter months.
The majority of people will put on between 5 and 7 lbs this winter, according to Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD. It is not just winter that is bad for your waistline, as gaining extra weight often tends to creep on during autumn, too. When the number on your scales starts to creep up, you are at an increased risk of developing a severe illness, so you must adjust your workouts and lifestyle to suit the changing weather.
Change your diet
Studies show that individuals consume more food and eat more frequently in colder months than when it is warmer. As just 3,500 calories are equivalent to a 1 lb weight gain, you must evaluate your diet throughout the year. Most people consume more fruit, vegetables, salad, fresh fish, and meat during the spring and summer as it is light and refreshing and goes well with several cuisines. This diet is ideal for optimum fitness performance and weight maintenance since it is low-calorie and packed full of nutrients and protein. But, when it gets colder, people typically opt for heavier meals and excess carbohydrates.
While sitting down with a glass of red wine and a hearty pasta dish or a plate of steak and mash is a comforting treat when it is cold, be sure to opt for healthier options such as wholegrain pasta over white and sweet potato rather than white potato as they keep you feeling fuller for longer and will prevent you from consuming excess calories. These foods go just as well with your favourite alcoholic drink, so there is no need to feel like you are missing out either.
Do not give up running
Once you have got to grips with your diet, you will need to consider how you are going to keep fit. The cold weather and the damp, frosty ground will likely put you off partaking in an early morning run during autumn and winter. But as a 30-minute run can burn up to 500 calories, you will quickly put on the pounds if you do not choose an alternative sport instead. You should, therefore, move your running indoors. If you weigh 125 lbs and run on a treadmill at a pace of 5 mph, you will burn 240 calories in just half an hour. To maximise your results and to run as many calories off as possible, you will need to increase your speed to 10 mph and increase the incline as this works your body harder.
Cycling is a great physical activity that works with multiple muscles in the body, builds up stamina, fights off diseases, and the intensity can be adapted to suit your requirements. As a result of this hard work, biking at a moderate speed will ensure that a 155 lb person burns close to 300 calories. However, it can be dangerous to cycle outdoors during the autumn and winter when it is dark in the morning or the early evening and surfaces are slippery. Thankfully, you can still reap all the benefits of cycling during these seasons by purchasing a static cycle that can be used indoors. So long as you cycle at the same intensity or greater as you would when outdoors, you will burn just as many calories as you would do if you were out on your bike on the road.
It is all too easy to pile on the pounds over autumn and winter. But the good news is that with a few simple changes to your fitness plan, including rethinking your diet, running indoors rather than out, and adopting a static cycle, you can easily prevent your weight from creeping up and your health from being impacted.
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About the Author
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years' experience across many different areas. She made a move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and travelling as much as possible.