By Samantha Olivier, Fitness Pro (blog coming soon!)
Winter is the period when many people stop working out. Since it includes several big holidays that are usually celebrated with tons of tasty food and booze, for some people it is hard to stay fit during these few cold months. We have done a survey to find 8 habits that people who stay fit have, which will make it easier for us to stay fit during the winter and easily come back to our summer exercise routine.
Stair climbing is one of the best workouts everybody can afford. It is free and stairs are literally everywhere. There are people who use stair running instead of cardio training and it works great, especially for Ronnie Guie, a New Yorker who discovered this workout 18 years ago after climbing the top of a ten-story building. He felt exhausted and realized stair climbing is the perfect workout. Since then he’s been climbing stairs 10 times in one hour, which makes him feel great. By the way, he’s 59 now, weighing only 150 pounds, with a 30-inch waistline.
Even if you aren’t considering replacing your cardio with stair climbing, you can always include it in your every-day routine and avoid elevators. When you think about it, why would anyone use machines to climb a few dozen meters, instead of their own muscles?
Avoid Special Diets
A healthy menu should become your only alternative. This means you need to change your way of life, and stop overfeeding yourself on Thanksgiving, Christmas or when visiting all-you-can-eat restaurants. People who have achieved this balance, and who don’t eat several times more food than their lifestyle requires, don’t go on special diets to cleanse their body from toxins and take off a few pounds, because they always have an ideal weight and their bodies are always clean.
Cycle or Walk to Work
The time you spend on a bus, tram or metro is probably the most boring moment during your entire work-day. Driving to work can be even worse, especially if you get caught in rush hour. Cities are always great in the morning before work. You will see plenty of Kodak moments on empty streets, and if your way takes you through a park, you can even hear the birds singing. This will definitely make your day more relaxing. On your way back you can meet some of your friends, go shopping or see some street performances.
A great motivation to implement this strategy can be lowering your carbon footprint, and the fact that a person who weighs 180 pounds and walks 3 miles per hour burns 286 calories per one hour of walking, which is around half of one daily meal. Cycling with a 12-14 miles per hour pace for an hour burns 653 calories, which is more than one full meal.
Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal during the day, and it should contain carbs, proteins, fibers and vitamins. Sanya Richards Ross, a track superstar, is one of those fit and happy breakfast eaters, and this meal brings her both energy and a mood boost.
Sonya’s perfect breakfast looks something like this:
- Eggs – for protein;
- Bagel, oatmeal or pancakes – for carbs;
- Piece of fruit – vitamins
- A cup of mint tea – for good digestion
Proper Breathing During Exercises
Proper breathing helps us lift 5 pounds more, run faster and burn more calories. There are two breathing divisions, belly breathing and chest breathing. The first one comes with longer and deeper inhales, which fills up our lungs in a proper way. This way of breathing is known to yogis and opera and choir singers. When the lungs collect larger storages of air, they send more oxygen to the muscles, which can work faster and harder.
Posture is another very important thing when it comes to exercise breathing. It’s advisable for athletes to control their breath by their nasal channels, instead through their mouth, because this way it is much easier to inhale larger portions of air, and keep the right posture at the same time.
Cut Your Office Sitting Session with Exercise
Long sitting sessions can be disastrous to your back. They tend to weaken you back muscles and cause spinal disc herniation or some other difficult medical conditions. It doesn’t matter how much do your exercise before or after your office work, if you spend 8 hours sitting in the same position, you will definitely feel some consequences.
Few minute walks after an hour long sitting session are a great way to both relax and stretch your back. You don’t need to go outside the building, walking around the office or corridors also helps, as well as a few squats or some other stretching exercises. If your boss has problems with that, you can always pretend you are going to the toilet on an hourly basis. If your superiors have problems with that too, than you should definitely find another job.
Always Do Stretching Exercises First
Sport injuries are the worst enemies of athletes. They keep them off the track or gym for long periods of time and totally destroy their motivation. It’s hard to start working out again, when you need to go back to the basics. Stretching before and after each training is the best way to avoid injuries, plus stretching exercises also improve athletic performance by improving flexibility and helping joints move in full.
Cook and Change Your Eating Habits
Most athletes tend to eat less refined foods, which include:
• Refined sunflower, palm and olive oil;
• Refined sugar (white sugar);
• Refined flour and all of its products (white bread for example);
Processed food should also be avoided, because many manufacturers put huge amounts of corn syrup and starch in almost every product. All of the above mentioned foods can be avoided easily if you cook your food for yourself. If you don’t have time to do that every day, you can pick one day in a week for cooking, make a weekly batch of food, separate it in small portions and leave it in your freezer. When cooking, use fresh ingredients, especially vegetables.
Many fit people you meet in gyms and sport centers have great coaching skills, and that’s why you should listen to their advice, do your own survey, and determine which practices they use will fit your lifestyle in the best way. People learn all their lives and keeping yourself fit in the modern day and age is a long path that requires lots of learning from books, articles, and experienced fitness enthusiasts.