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Top 4 Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter

By Dan Vogel, YWCA Fitness Staff
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Shorter days, longer nights. That about sums up how many feel when it comes to the change from fall to winter each year. With that comes many challenges and opportunities for those looking to stay healthy throughout the winter, especially during the holidays. Below are four things you can do to keep yourself in tip-top shape over the next few months!

1. Keep Moving!

Ah, yes, there’s nothing better than donning flannel pajamas while plopped on a couch with four blankets, 10 pillows and all the pets when you’re not at work, at school or driving five hours to the in-law’s place. We get it. The 48-hour holiday movie binge-watching sessions are inevitable now that the holidays are here. But make a deal with yourself: save those times for after you take a long stroll outside with the neighbor, a few laps at the local dog park with your pup or a game of pickup basketball. No matter what the activity is, be sure you are scheduling in time to move and be active all winter long.

2. Drink Water, Eat Veggies and Treat Yourself in Moderation

With darker days and colder nights comes the desire to eat heavier comfort food and unhealthy beverages. Cookies, pies and other sweets all sound great to gorge on at home or at grandma’s house over the next couple of months. But, moderation is key. And most importantly, make sure you’re drinking enough water and consuming enough fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, fats and whole grains each day.

3.Try Something New!

The winter is a great time to mix it up and try a new fitness class, meet with a personal trainer or take up swimming lessons to stay active. Our specialized trainers and swim instructors can help you come up with a customized, multi-week plan that will get you through the winter with more energy and excitement than before. You can also try a Styku scan or nutritional counseling to assess your health and get tailored tips for eating or exercising better.

4. Dream On and Get Plenty of Sleep

1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3 sheep, 4 sheep… How many did you count while sleeping last night? Probably not enough. Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to make sure you get enough sleep each night. Sure, playing Chutes & Ladders with family until 2:00 am might happen a couple of times, but that shouldn’t take away from your averaging seven to eight hours of sleep each night. In reality, your body is actually very active overnight, even when you’re not moving, as it is recharging for the next day’s activities. Set an ideal time you’d like to be in bed each night and give yourself five to 10 minutes beforehand to power down. That includes turning off all bright lights (i.e., smartphone, laptop, TV) and replacing those with a book instead!

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