The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

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Avoid Hibernation Weight Gain with these Winter Training Tips

Is a comfy seat in front of the TV calling your name this Winter?

The nights are starting to draw in, there is a slight but definite chill in the air, Winter is here but it definitely feels like Christmas is is on its way.

It feels like time to hibernate.

But after being active during the long bright evenings are you afraid all your efforts to stay fit and healthy over the summer months will be lost this winter?

Shorter days and lack of sunshine reduce our body’s production of serotonin, a hormone-like substance that promotes feelings of relaxation and happiness.

A natural reaction to this is that we start to eat more carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes and rice that help to raise serotonin levels. With our bodies naturally craving starchier ‘comfort’ food, and the lure of the sofa in the winter evenings  it’s easy to pile on the pounds as the weather turns colder.

But winter doesn’t have to mean adding inches to your waistline.

Below are our Top Winter Fitness Tips.

So no need to be tempted by the sofa’s hibernation call!!

Head to the Hills and Trails

Winter is one of the most beautiful times of year for getting outside. So why not make a point of taking your winter training outside.  Find some local parks or trails to walk, run or ride a bike and take in the view of changing leaves. Check out http://www.parkrun.org.uk/, they organise free, timed 5k runs every weekend up and down the country.  Its a great way to build up your running or you can walk if you prefer. At my local Park run there are dog, prams, kiddies it’s a real family affair.  They are very social and welcoming so even if you go along alone you won’t feel out of place.

Turn Garden Jobs into a Workout

The transition from Autumn to Winter means even more jobs in the in the garden.  The autumnal colour on the trees was lovely, but when those chilly winds blow and they are all over your lawn, it feel like a different story.  BUT….Raking leaves or clearing the garden can burn around 150 calories every 30 minutes.  Wrap up warm and kill two birds with one stone, you will feel strong and smug when you have finished.

Exercise Early in the Day

Try to work out in the morning or during the day. Particularly with it becoming darker earlier, it can feel as if it is later in the day than it really is. This can make people more tired than usual. Getting into a routine of working out early will guarantee the workout gets done and still allow time in the afternoons and evenings to relax. So get up and get on with your winter training before your brain has a chance to come up with excuses as to why you should lie in!!

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

As the weather really starts to cool down and Autumn ends, it can become difficult to stay motivated.  This is the time of year when gyms and studios put on their winter training timetable so its a great time to try a variety of different activities to help keep a fresh spin on exercise.  Why not try out a dance class or spinning.  Challenge yourself to find something new that you might never have considered and just give it a go…what have you got to lose?

Put The Kettle On

So technically this isn’t a winter training exercise tip, but it’s key to helping you achieve the tips above.  Drink more tea to warm up for the cooler temperatures. Green tea and black tea contain antioxidants that help ward off diseases so you can remain healthy and active as the season shifts into full on winter. Remember, choose organic unbleached tea bags to ensure that you are not “enjoying” a cup of pesticides, additives or bleach that can have a negative impact on your hormones.

So whatever your goal, loosing weight or keeping fit and healthy there really is no excuse to be inactive this season.

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As always we would love to hear what your thoughts are, how are you keeping active this weather?

2 Replies to “Avoid Hibernation Weight Gain with these Winter Training Tips”

  1. Hello Julie,
    I have been enjoying your emails, publications and blog posts for a long time now, even if it never worked out for me to come to one of the retreats!
    However, lots of your tips work wonders and I always share the ones I find particularly interesting, for example the sugar detox ones you sent about a year ago. Thanks for all these inspiring recommendations and articles!
    As for keeping active this Winter: I started iYengar Yoga, which for me allies total concentration with enough control over the body to be able to do crazy things we used to do at 16, like headstands… , and after a few short weeks, I can already see results in terms of muscle definition. In my kettle, instead of black or green tea, I love the super natural and warming ginger… the best ever cold weather beverage as far as I’m concerned. And for those sugar cravings you want to resist… an occasional drop of delicious thyme honey in the ginger tea works wonders. And a lot of raw garlic for lunch too… Smelly Cheers and long live to delicious procrastination! Cathy

  2. Hi Cathy,
    Great to hear from you and thanks for your feedback 🙂
    I love the idea of the thyme honey, thats a new one for me, do you get that locally to you?
    Heres to a happy and healthy winter x

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