It goes without saying, but the cold winter months tend to be when many people let their physical and mental health go significantly. The festive period over December and January is the prime time when many individuals tend to gradually put on weight and increase their body fat.
You might be wondering what you can do as we head further into this time as a means of looking after your health. Read on for more!
Table of Contents
Improve Your Body Composition
Your body composition is the percentages of fat, bone, water, and muscle present in your body. How lean or overweight you are will depend on your body composition.
Measuring your body fat is a crucial indicator of your body composition. Your body fat percentage also tells you whether you are currently at a healthy weight, underweight, overweight, or obese. Being overweight or obese can cause serious health problems like diabetes, circulatory heart disease, and cancer. Being underweight can also lead to health problems such as a weakened immune system, fragile and brittle bones, and feeling fatigued all the time.
To improve your body composition in the winter months, you will have to continually monitor your body composition stats, so you can notice any changes or fluctuations that indicate your body composition is improving.
Here is a list of some helpful ideas for ways you can accurately measure your weight and body composition:
Measuring your body mass index by dividing your weight by height is a very common and easy way to check if you are overweight. However, there are some downsides to BMI as a measurement, and it can show inaccurate readings for people who are muscular and do weights at the gym a lot, pregnant, or elderly.
Measuring the size of your waist is a way to keep track of whether you’re carrying excess stomach fat. Having too much stomach fat puts you at a much higher risk of developing severe health conditions. And all you will need to calculate your waist circumference is a tape measure.
Skinfold Measurements with Callipers (the ‘pinch test’)
Skinfold calipers are an effective way to measure the thickness of the fat underneath your skin around different parts of your body. Use the calipers to pinch the skin and pull the muscle away from the fat to measure the fold. Calipers are a cheap and portable way to measure body fat in specific areas.
Scales and Smart Scales
Getting a pair of scales will help inform you of your overall body weight in stones and pounds. On the other hand, smart scales provide more information on your body composition than regular scales. Standing on smart scales will tell you about your body fat percentage. Smart scales send tiny electrical impulses around your body and measure how long it takes for them to return. You can connect fitness apps to smart scales to monitor your progress.
Make an Effort to Follow a Healthy and Balanced Diet
An essential component of ensuring you improve your health during the winter period, avoid coughs and bugs, and maintain healthy body weight is following a healthy and balanced diet.
What a Healthy and Balanced Diet Involves
A healthy and balanced diet means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions to ensure your body stays fit and healthy and gets enough nutrients during the winter months. Eating the right drinks and avoiding sugary ones is also crucial to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
Various vital factors will influence the quantity of calories individuals should consume daily to stay fit and at a healthy weight, including your gender, pregnancy, and your existing health conditions. For example, the recommended daily calorie intake for men is 2,500 and 2,000 for women.
Eat the Right Foods
It’s essential to focus on eating foods that are good for your body. For example, vitamins are organic nutrients the body needs and help prevent you from developing a long list of health conditions. Eating lots of high-protein foods is a great way to improve your fat-to-muscle ratio, get a leaner physique, and increase muscle mass and strength. Consuming delicious protein snacks in foods and powders is a great way to supplement the amount of protein you get in your daily diet and increase muscle mass and strength. If you’re interested in getting some high-quality protein supplements, take a look at the products available from EatProtein.
Avoid Junk Foods and Sugary Drinks
When you find yourself feeling a bit down in the dumps during the winter season and spending lots of time indoors, it’s very easy to fall into eating junk foods regularly.
However, to follow a healthy and balanced lifestyle and avoid becoming obese and overweight during the winter, you must show self-discipline and refrain from sugary drinks and eating excessive amounts of junk food. Not only do junk foods cause obesity, but they can also have harmful effects on your digestive system and bowel movements, which can lead to a decline in self-esteem, trigger mental health issues such as depression, and even stunt your growth.
So, although it’s tempting to tuck into burgers, pizzas, chocolate, and cakes during the winter, doing so constantly may lead to a decline in your health. Avoiding junk foods is essential to improving your health during the winter.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Doctors advise that doing physical exercise and getting plenty of physical exercises is vital to improving your health in the winter. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that we should all do at least 150-300 minutes of moderate physical aerobic activity during a week or 75-150 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity.
Look into Taking Up a New Sport
A great way to get fit and stay active during the winter could be to take up a new sport you haven’t tried before. Look up the sports clubs in your local area.
Avoid Being Sedentary and Get Yourself Outdoors
More and more people in recent times have been spending a lot more time indoors, with many switching to working full-time from home remotely. But to stay fit during winter, you must avoid being a couch potato and get yourself outdoors and do some form of physical activity.
Staying optimistic and motivated during winter is vital to your physical and mental health. Your mind must be in the right place to keep yourself feeling positive and active during the winter. Keeping your motivation levels high is essential for not letting yourself go to the ground in the winter.
Maintain a Healthy Social Life
Maintaining a healthy social life and regularly interacting with family and friends is essential for looking after your mental health and keeping your spirits up during the winter. Speaking with someone else and sharing the worries you are going through in your life is a great way to improve your mental health and well-being during the winter season. So don’t become isolated and start to avoid interacting with others during the winter.
There are plenty of different avenues you can go down to improve your health this winter. Staying motivated and energized is key to maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit and healthy during the cold, dark winter months.
Featured Photo by Санжар Саиткулов from Pexels