Nowadays I do not even watch the weather reports or check the radar on my phone. I figure it is either going to be extremely cold or it will be snowing. There is not too much I can do about it, so I figure I will just keep about my business until I see some signs of Spring. I know that many of us are struggling with winter fatigue and ache for the days where we can run in the parks, go for a swim, or at least not have to wear three layers of clothing to take the dog out! Well friends, even though it feels like warmer weather will never get here, it always does and it will again. In the meantime, I think we should shake things up a bit in our winter regimens!
1. Frozen Fruit
After fruits and vegetables are picked, they immediately begin to lose nutrients. Because most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen shortly after they’re harvested, they’re allowed to fully ripen, which means they’re chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and freezing “locks in” many of their nutrients. On the flip side, much of the fresh produce in your supermarket was reaped over 1,500 miles away, and had to travel by truck to get there. As a result, it may have been harvested before it reached its nutritional peak, then artificially ripened during transport. –abcnews.go.com I love to throw some thawed berries on top of my protein pancakes, or have a small dish after dinner to satisfy a sweet tooth. Frozen fruit goes great in your Greek yogurt, and it of course makes delicious smoothies. Strawberries may be a ways off as far as being in season, but you can get a taste of summer by checking out the frozen section until then!
Try this Superfood Smoothie!
1/2 cup frozen berries
2 cups almond milk
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
1 scoop spurlina
2. Vitamin D:
The role of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. That makes me think of strong bones! You can obtain vitamin D through eating foods such as fish, eggs, and fortified milk. If you are a vegetarian or avoid milk for allergies or other reasons, you may be at risk for having a vitamin D deficiency. Most of us think of a deficiency as not getting enough sunlight, and this is true. However, the body will produce vitamin D by getting as little as 10 minutes of sunlight a day, even in this weather! Anyone can call their doctor to get their levels checked if they are struggling with fatigue and general aches and pains. However, you may not show any signs or symptoms if you are running low. Please get your levels checked before you start supplementing and ask your doctor what supplements you should take if you are indeed low. As always, just because you do not need a prescription to buy it, you still need a medical reason to take it. This interesting topic has much more information. To learn more, check out some great resources!
3. Take Care of Your Skin:
Running the furnace 24 hours a day can suck the moisture right out of your skin. Even space heaters and fireplaces can make the air in your home or office extra dry.
As the skin dries, small cracks can form and allow allergens, irritants and even bacteria to enter and generate inflammation. This can lead to a host of skin problems including the worsening of any pre-existing skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. –Doctor Oz.com
Tips to combat dryness:
-Moisturize every time you wash your hands or take a shower or bath. (You too guys!)
-Use a gentle cleanser and avoid ones with alcohol which will dry the skin even more.
-Use warm, not hot water when you bathe.
-Wear sunscreen. Even when it is cold, you can still suffer from sun damage. I have been using Neutrogena every day all year-long for years. It works great! (Don’t forget your neck and hands!)
-Invest in a humidifier for the rooms you spend the most time in.
-If you are able to get outside for a walk or run, make sure you have the proper gear to protect you.
-And ladies, if you feel like your skin could benefit from having a little extra glow, don’t forget that some bronzer will go a long way!
-The absolute best thing you can do for your skin this winter and all year-long is to stay hydrated by drinking water. Check out a recent post on why drinking water is key to our wellness!
5. Attend a Group Fitness Class:
From Spinning to Zumba-Yoga to Boot Camp. If you are having trouble getting or staying motivated, all you have to do here is show up and the rest is taken care of. Your instructor will lead the way, and usually once you are in a room full of great people and good music, you will find some hidden energy and do more than you thought you could do!
6. Sign up for a Spring Race:
Think Spring! Creating a new goal will help the last of the winter months pass by. You will be so busy with your training, you will hardly notice the remaining days of winter!
Some ideas for you:
Chicago Spring Half Marathon
Chi Town Marathon and 10 K
Great Strides 5 K Walk
Chicago Mud Runs 2014
7. Get Geared Up to Go Out:
If you have been training indoors, you are kicking some butt I am sure. But, perhaps it’s time to shake it up with a great workout that will prep your body for the elements that await us!
Find a set of stairs in a building, at the office, in the school, or even in your home! Run up and back down.
10 Mountain Climbers
10 Full Sit-ups
Back up the stairs you go! Repeat the burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, and sit-ups again. See how many rounds of this you can get through in 20 minutes.
If you do not have access to stairs, no problem! Grab a treadmill, bike, elliptical, or stair mill. Run, or perform your cardio for a set distance or a set time. Then hop off of the equipment and do your floor circuit! Keep going until your time is up or you have run 2-3 miles!
I like to do this circuit with .25 mile sprints on the treadmill before I move to the floor as an alternate to the stairs! Killer!
Don’t forget a great playlist to accompany you!
8. Last but not least, hang out with awesome people:
It is so easy to get into hibernation mode in the winter. Coming straight home from work and putting your comfies on is fun in the beginning. But the more you stay in and watch the entire season of Dexter or The Walking Dead, the easier it is to say no thanks to quality time with quality people. Meet some one for a special workout class like Morgan recommended. Flywheel anyone?! Or get a group of people together and go to a show, a sporting event, a wine tasting, skiing, a concert, or a museum. Invite the guys over for poker night, or meet at the gym for a game of basketball. Tomorrow night I am having two of my close friends over for a girl’s night. We are trying out some new healthy recipes, drinking wine, and doing some mud masks. Stay connected to people who make you happy, and the endorphins from that should carry all of us through until Spring!