The winter months following the lively holiday season can take a toll on our physical and emotional health. The post-holiday crash, also known as a hibernation period, hurts as many as 25 percent of Americans residing in the colder regions. Pair that with the 80 percent of New Year resolutions failing by mid-February and the winter becomes a pitiful time for sticking to health goals.

Let’s face it, many people would rather stay warm and cozy, wearing oversized sweats and watching movies, rather than brave it for an outdoor run. During the warmer months Long Islanders tend to enjoy healthier foods such as fruit bowls, grilled lean meats and salads. In the winter, these are usually replaced with pastas, stews and other carb-filled comfort foods. We also replace water with coffee, tea or hot chocolate which can add to the winter weight gain.

So how do we stick to our health goals during the winter? Here are three easy tips to keep you on track during winter hibernation:

The Rule of Three
The rule of three is a great way to get your exercise in, even at home, on the coldest of days. Find 30 minutes three days a week using three compound movements. You can wake up earlier, skip a sitcom or use 30 minutes of your lunch break. Use the first 10 minutes to get your blood flowing with spurts of jumping jacks, marching in place, jumping rope, or even running up and down stairs. If you have gym equipment accessible, use any cardio machine for 10 minutes. Choose three compound movements you can properly perform such as push- ups, squats, lunges, planks or dips. Perform three sets of 10-12 repetitions of each exercise. The rule of three saves time, promotes consistency and boosts endorphins. According to the Mayo Clinic moderate exercise 30 minutes a day can lead to tremendous benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, weight loss, disease prevention and mental well-being.

Conscious Comfort Cooking

Comfort food does not have to be a creation of carbs and calories. Try turkey chili with fresh ingredients like diced peppers, tomatoes and onions. Bone broth soups and stews make delicious dinners with celery, carrots, onions and mushrooms. For breakfast try overnight oats with nuts and berries or a veggie-filled frittata. Utilize a stock pot or slow cooker to make double the amount of hearty dishes and you will have enough for leftovers through the week.

Win with Water

In the cold weather, we tend to drink less water. Make it a point to increase your water intake. Reasons include: improved digestion, lubricated joints, healthier skin, smoother running cardiovascular system and better toxin removal. Also, when we are drinking plenty of water through the day, we are less likely to confuse thirst for hunger, which can lead to mindless snacking.

Start utilizing these tips today to help you stick to your health goals.

*Any information presented in this article is for general information purposes only and is not to replace or substitute medical advice. Always consult with your medical professional before implementing any changes to your fitness or diet routines.

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