Staying Fit in the Winter

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Abra Lisowski

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Staying Fit in the Winter

While it can sometimes be quite difficult to stay fit and healthy during the winter, there are many things you can do to help overcome these difficulties.

Eating Healthy

Eating healthy becomes much harder in the winter because most fruits and vegetables go out of season. However, there is still plenty of healthy food you can eat during the cold winter months.

Root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, yams, celery, and beets are all good options because they tend to be much more hardy against the winter weather, so many local farmers will be able to supply them.

It’s important not to skip breakfast, not only in winter but throughout the whole year. Not eating breakfast regularly can lead to lower energy levels throughout the day, health issues related to not receiving proper nutrients throughout the day, and even weight gain. As counterintuitive as it sounds, when you don’t eat breakfast in the morning, your body goes into a state of fasting. When you finally eat, it stores fat as a survival mechanism. Some health issues related to not eating a proper breakfast include increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to Diabetes.org. An example of a healthy breakfast is oatmeal with fruit, as it contains lots of fiber as well as fruit, which are both key components to a healthy meal.

Working Out

Working out can seem very difficult, especially due to poor weather conditions, however, it is actually fairly simple to continue to work out as you have been all year, following a few simple tips.

If you usually work out outside, such as going for a run, consider warming up inside beforehand. Richard Cotton from American Council on Exercise recommends that you, “Take five to 10 minutes and do some low-level aerobic exercise like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks. That way, when you step outside, you’ll already be warm.” He also stresses the importance of dressing properly. If you wear clothing in layers, you can take things off as the need arises if you get too warm, and the opposite is true if you get cold.

If running in the cold still doesn’t seem like your kind of workout, consider joining a gym. For Cleveland Heights residents, one option is to buy month or year long passes to the Cleveland Heights Community Center, which gives you unlimited access to their gym, equipment, track, and ice rinks. Consider bringing a friend to work out with you, as you can keep each other motivated and hold one another accountable.

Avoiding Sickness

Sickness seems to spread rapidly during the harsh winter months, especially since you’re sharing the same building as people who are all spreading germs and bacteria. With a few simple precautions, you can help protect yourself from catching sickness this winter.

Since you probably don’t have time to wash your hands every period, consider carrying around hand sanitizer, and use it every time you blow your nose, eat, or even after using shared laptops.

Get enough sleep at night. Even though sometimes it can be difficult with the amount of schoolwork, sleep deprivation can make it more difficult for your immune system to fight off disease.

Taking vitamins is very important in the winter. You can become vitamin D deficient easily in the winter because you are not spending as much time outside, and not absorbing as much sunlight. Vitamin D can help your body fight off colds, so consider taking a daily multivitamin with Vitamin D to help your body fight off colds.

Finally, drink enough water. Doctors recommend eight glasses a day, however that varies from person to person (a quick google search can tell you how many cups a day you should be drinking based on your body and activity levels). Water helps the kidneys to function properly, and can also help flush out toxins and infections.

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