Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Staying Healthy This Winter

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Winter is a time when our bodies change and try to store more fat. We, like many other animals go into hibernation in the winter, our bodies store much more, fat, we avoid going outside at all costs and stay in the warmth of our living rooms in our pyjamas. The problem with this is that many of us eat more in the winter, with Christmas and Thanksgiving, and if we don’t try to maintain the healthy habits we did in the summer, the pounds can pile on. Here are some great ways to stay healthy this winter!

Diet


It’s easy to overeat in the winter, because that’s exactly what our bodies want us to do. The problem is we can put on weight much easier in winter. The key is to be careful with our portions and still look to get those essentials vitamins and minerals into our bodies. Here are some warming, hearty dishes you can eat in the winter without feeling too guilty:
 

Soups:

Tomato
Ingredients:
· 1 onion
· 1 clove garlic
· 3 tins chopped tomatoes
· 1 slice bacon
· 1 tbsp missed herbs
· Fresh basil
 
Sweat your onions and garlic, fry the chopped bacon. Add tomatoes and herbs and simmer for 30 minutes. Blend until smooth and serve with bread.
 
Pea and Ham
Ingredients:
· 1 onion
· 1 bay leaf
· 450g split peas
· 250g gammon, shredded
· 2 tbsp parsley
· 750ml ham stock
· 50g butter
 
Sweat the onion, add in all ingredients apart from ham. Simmer for 30 minutes and blend. Add ham.
 

One Pot Meals:

 
Cottage Pie
Ingredients:
· 1 onion
· 500g beef mince
· 2 tbsp Tomato puree
· 330ml stout
· 2 tbsp thyme, rosemary and oregano (mix)
· 1 tbsp gravy granules
· 3 large potatoes
· 1 tbsp butter
· Salt and pepper
 
Bake the potatoes until tender and scoop out the insides. Mix with salt, pepper and butter. Sweat onion, brown the mince and add other ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add into a dish with mash on top and bake for 30 minutes.
 
Pasta Bake
Ingredients:
· 400ml marinara sauce
· 100ml water
· 6 diced sausages
· 2 diced chicken breasts
· 400g fusilli pasta
· 100g mozzarella
 
Cook the chicken breasts in a pan and brown your sausages. Place in a dish with the tomato sauce, pasta and water. Mix well and bake for 40 minutes. Add mozzarella and grill until melted.

Kick Those Bad Habits

 
Stop being a couch potato. In the winter, it is tempting to plant yourself on the sofa and stay there all day. However, the issue with sitting down all day is that you aren’t getting any exercise. And too little exercise can make the risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes higher. Try your best to stick to only 2 hours of TV at a time, and after that 2 hours, get up for 30 minutes.
 
Try to cut down on alcohol consumption. It can be easy to get carried away during the festive season and have one too many eggnogs, but it is important to remember that for the sake of your health you still want to avoid binging. If you are going out with your friends, try and stick to 2-3 drinks and don’t go overboard. You’ll save the hangover the next morning and do your liver a lot of good.
 
Stop Smoking. Planning for Christmas can be incredibly stressful and cause a lot of head scratching. It might be easy to manifest your stress into bad habits such as smoking, but this will have adverse effects on your health. Cigarettes contain a lot of toxic chemicals and cancer-causing chemicals which could make you incredibly ill. Instead, to curb your cravings you can turn to E-Cig Wizard to still get that nicotine buzz without the risk of illness.
 
 

Get Pumped Up For Exercise

 
The trick to being able to get out and exercise in winter is making a routine that you will actually stick to. You don’t want to force yourself to go out for 3 hours every night for a run and do weights at the gym, because you will never make it out of the door. Instead, stick to a couple of days a week and aim for 1 hour of exercise if you can. It doesn’t have to be too intense as long as your muscles are moving.
 
The tough approach to take is to get your gear on and simply step outside. It will be freezing cold, but as you move your muscles will warm you up. You can go on a long walk around the area or to the park with your family and make the most of the fresh winter air. You can take your camera out with you and make the most of the sights of nature and have fun with it. Getting moving can be very fun and you won’t even think you are exercising.
 
Make sure that you take safety precautions when you are out in the winter. Make sure you always have a torch and your phone in case of an emergency, and you will also need to wear bright colours if you will be outside when it’s dark. Also remember that the weather is harsh and you need to protect your body from the cold. You could run the risk of developing an illness such as frostbite or hypothermia if you aren’t sufficiently wrapped up.
 
Going for a run or a bike ride in the winter might actually be more enjoyable than in the summertime because you will warm your body up and you won’t become overheated from the sun. Just remember to have fun with it and only do what you are comfortable with.
 
If traditional exercises aren’t your thing, you can still stay fit by doing other activities. One great example of a way to keep fit at home is to practice yoga. With the stress of daily life and the anticipation of Christmas coming up, you can begin to become fatigued and burn yourself out. That’s why yoga is a great alternative which will keep you moving, strengthen your core as well as allow you to let go of your worried thoughts and reset your mind. Another fun way of keeping fit in winter is to make the most of seasonal activities. You could go ice skating on a rink in the city centre and make the most of the magic of Christmas. You could also take part in snow sports such as skiing and snowboarding- even go on a holiday with your family and friends and have a break in the alps.
 
If outdoor sport isn’t your thing, another way to keep fit whilst making new friends is to join a class. You could join a sport’s team such as hockey or football, maybe take up something different like aerial yoga, or even take a dance class. All of these things will make your experience much more enjoyable and allow you to stay fit without thinking about it.
 
You can work out while watching Christmas movies if you switch on YouTube and follow workout videos. It’s free and you won’t have to leave the house and go to the gym. You can learn at your own pace and repeat the same routines until you find that you are becoming more skilled at them.

Christmas Preparations


Believe it or not, all the Christmas preparations you will be doing throughout the next two months will also help you shed the pounds. As you tidy the house and clear out all of your old rubbish, you will be working on your arms, abs and glutes as you go. Make cleaning the house a fun task by sticking on some festive tunes and dancing around as you go, you’ll be burning those calories as well as greeting your home in tip top condition for the big day.
 
Christmas shopping can be one of the most stressful things you do during the Christmas period because the shops are full to the brim with people and you can end up coming down with a serious case of shopper’s rage. However, it’s not all bad because as you walk through the streets of your city and lug bags around you’ll be giving your arms, legs, abs and glutes some much-needed toning up in time for the big celebrations. So, skip the online shopping and get your feet moving. You can even make a day of it with your friends or family member and do some shopping, have lunch and then walk home. It will make a huge difference to your body and give you the opportunity to spend some time with your family as well as pick out the perfect gifts.
 
Finally, prepping the meal itself. Christmas dinner preparation can be a workout in itself, as you spend hours chopping vegetables, stuffing the turkey, lifting things in and out of the oven and mashing potatoes. Your arms will thank you for the muscle movement and you’ll tone up in time to scoff the perfect turkey dinner with your family.
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