Winter Health and Workout Reminders
One of my commitments this year is to take a short walk every afternoon for the pure joy of walking, fresh air and nature.
For me, this walk is not about exercise. It is purely for me and my enjoyment. I always feel better mentally, physically and spiritually afterward. So far the weather has cooperated but even in a blizzard I am determined to walk every day.
My regular workouts come on other days in a variety of flavors. I have a gym membership that helps me include some cardio and a multitude of weight lifting options. My favorite yoga videos on YouTube help me relax muscles on non-gym days. And of course, living in the Adirondacks there is always skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating, sledding and the incessant snow shoveling. I consider all of these exercise and fun -even the shoveling.
There are a few things to keep in mind when starting a new exercise routine whether inside or outside.
Be sure to manage your hydration well. This may seem obvious. Everyone at the gym carries a water bottle, but during these dry winter months we lose a lot of moisture through respiration (our breath) as well as perspiration at the gym. If we are outside for any amount of time on a cold day we can see the moisture leaving our lungs through our breath. In winter we do not feel as thirsty because our body values warmth over fluid balance and diverts much of our blood supply to our core to keep us warm instead of to our extremities. This fools the body into thinking it is properly hydrated when it is not. Replace those fluids with clean filtered water. Adding a pinch of pink sea salt will help your body absorb the water as well as add up to 78 different sea minerals to your body.
If you have started to exercise more in 2019 you have probably noticed an increase in hunger. You are burning more energy that needs to be replaced. Your body will ask for quick energy in the form of grains and sugars but what it really needs is quality nutrient dense foods like organic, grass fed meats, wild game/fish, organic colorful fruits and vegetables and health fats in the form of real butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado. Also be mindful that sometimes when we think we are hungry we are really thirsty. If you are eating a good balance of veggies, proteins and fats but are still dragging, add in some health starches by way of winter squashes or sweet potatoes. These low glycemic starches will provide a steady energy to help you move toward balance plus they are full of vitamins.
One of my favorite ways to add in some healthy starch is to skin a sweet potato, dice it up and sauté it in plenty of coconut oil adding sea salt to the finished product. Be sure to sauté the cubes until they are golden brown and crispy on the edges. Yum!
With the extra expenditure of energy we not only need to replace fluids and nutrients but we also need to replenish energy with adequate rest – at least in the transition period. Once your body is used to your new routine and you have adjusted the areas mentioned above your need for rest will find equilibrium. In the mean time you may need to squeeze in a nap or go to bed earlier until you feel your energy level normalize.
I applaud you for making commitments toward daily movement in 2019! If you are mindful of the areas above you will be well on your way to success. Slow and steady progress will result in lasting change. Cheers!