When it gets colder outside, we tend to start moving less and less. For example, if you are a walker or runner, you might exercise less if you live in a cold climate. The key to successful weight management is regular exercise, healthy nutrition and an active lifestyle whether its winter, summer, fall or spring.
The winter months bring on seasonal affective disorder (and ultimately weight gain) for some people. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer.”
The Mayo Clinic also states, “Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the winter blues or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own — you may have seasonal affective disorder. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications. Addressing the problem can help you keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.”
Regular exercise has numerous benefits including:
1. Weight loss and reduced body fat
2. Increased energy
3. Lower blood pressure
4. Improved heart function
5. Boost in self-esteem
Whatever you have to overcome, regular exercise and healthy eating will help you keep the pounds from creeping up.
Here are some tips to help you prevent winter weight gain:
1. Continue to walk as much as possible every day. There are plenty of places to walk inside on those cold, bitter days. Walking every day will help you maintain an active lifestyle.
2. Exercise at home. It will save you time, money and take away the excuse of having to go to the gym to workout.
3. Eat less on the days you don’t exercise.
4. Hire a personal trainer, get an exercise buddy or buy an exercise video to help you exercise.
5. Exercise with your family. Family members can help motivate each other to exercise.