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Fitness Training for Winter

Sandra Prior
Sep 13, 2008
It's a frustrating ordeal - your new year starts out great, you get yourself looking and feeling superb and then six months down the line everything seems to take a turn for the worst. Your hard earned six pack starts to look more like a two pack and the jeans just doesn't seem to zip up with ease. You want to eat everything in sight and the word motivation holds very little appeal.

If you're one of those seasonal exercises that would rather stay tucked under the covers than get down to the gym, you're probably one of thousands suffering from the winter blues. What exactly distracts us from our healthy discipline and determination when it comes to the cold factor? Quite simply put, our minds set switches and we tend to allow this to turn into a downward spiral.

As we pack our skimpy gear away, out comes the big sweaters and baggy trousers ready to cover up any excess flesh. In addition, the chilly weather is conducive to tucking into that chocolate muffin and cappuccino, or going for that extra helping of beef goulash. As the kilos pile on, so the layers cover up the excess flesh. A kilo a month seems harmless until four months later the realization hits home - yikes, nothing fits.

Careful planning could prevent all this from happening, making the transition to summer that much easier. Two important factors to acknowledge are, firstly, our internal thermostat revs up during winter in an attempt to keep us warm. By simply controlling your intake of food and exercising regularly you can take advantage of this extra burn. Secondly, exercise is the best anti-depressant. It releases endorphins, which decreases depression, stress and anxiety.

The problem starts with our blood sugar levels. Poor eating habits and lack of exercise wreak havoc, setting you up for sugar cravings, weight gain and depression. This adds more fuel to the fire as you contemplate exercise on those dark cold mornings.

Here as some sensible tips to keep you on track and help you beat the blues.

Keep busy - Physical Activity Energy Expenditure (PAEE) is our biggest kilo joule burner and the accumulative effect is what really pays off. Activities such as gardening, playing ball with the kids, taking the dog for a walk or parking your car far from the supermarket are all smart ways to sneak exercise into your day.

Even if you don't manage to exercise as much as you did in the summer months, make sure you fit at least three sessions in per week, covering cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Encourage a friend to train with you to keep you motivated.

Avoid getting to the point where you have to eat comfort food. Eat good quality carbohydrates, protein and fats at regular intervals to prevent sugar low.

If you do have a binge on all the wrong stuff - get over it.

Whatever you do, don't buy bigger clothes.

It's all a mindset - try to weigh up the pros of exercise and feeling good, versus the cons of tucking into a delicious double helping of dessert and feeling awful.

Decide which pain is worse - the pain of looking at your expanding behind in the mirror, or the pain of giving up your favorite food. The choice is really yours.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.
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