Oh man, is summer really over? Actually, it’s been over for a while, I’m just in denial over the colder weather that’s now upon us. I know it will soon be snowing so I’m already planning my December trip somewhere warm. Just because bikini season and summer are over, doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of yourself or watching what you eat. Here are some tips and pitfalls to avoid to keep active during the fall and winter months.
Comfort food: I know when it’s damp and cold out it’s easy for your brain to start telling you it needs your favorite comfort food. From potpies to apple pies, it’s easy to add too many calories to a meal in the fall season. Try adding pumpkins and squash to your diet. These are jam packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals – some of which actually help you with breaking down fats and deterring your body from adding weight to your belly. They also have vitamin B6, which is essential to add to your diet once the sun is low in the sky and you aren’t out in it as much. They are easy to bake and a great side dish to any lean meat, chicken, or fish dinner.
Exercise in the morning: When it’s cold outside getting up and getting out first thing can really set the day off on the right foot. Start with a mini MELT Foot Treatment followed by 20 minutes of interval cardio training, 2 minutes of intense work where you get your heart rate up and you breathe heavy followed by 1-2 minutes of low intensity. This can be running, walking, skipping rope or cardio machine, anything that gets your heart rate up.
Repeat for 20 minutes to burn extra calories, and improve circulation and blood flow for the rest of the day. If you wait until after work studies show that people are 40-60% less likely to make it to the gym at all and most will lose at least two fitness days per week in the wintertime.
Keep your sleeping quarters cool: In the wintertime especially here in NYC in my apartment the heat is cranked up beyond need. At times in the winter I actually have to open a window in the living room because the heat rising from the apartments below me is oppressive. If you can turn down the heat in your bedroom at night your internal circadian rhythm that increases temperature between 1-3 a.m. when your liver is working hard to eliminate toxins and waste from your blood that you built up over the past 24 hours will function with better regulation. Another good tip in the bedroom is investing in a good humidifier to keep the air a little moist. Make sure you clean it every couple of days so you don’t create a cesspool of airborne bacteria.
Wear Layers and MELT your upper body: You will stay warmer if you wear layers and micro-knit clothing. Keeping your neck and shoulders warm and covered is essential to reduce shrugging and rounding your shoulders when it’s cold outside. If you are a MELTer, a great daily routine is using the MELT Hand Treatment and Neck Release Sequence to keep tension out of your neck. I also love adding the Upper Body Compression Sequence to my morning routine to insure my upper body doesn’t pay the price of me forgetting to wear a scarf when the weather gets cold.
As the weather takes a downward slope to colder temperatures, make sure to keep your eye on the MELT blog. I’ll keep posting some fall tips including good foods, fitness, and MELT moves to keep your weight down, your energy up, and your mood balanced and stable.