Hi Everyone, this week’s blog is about the struggles of being on the “journey to a healthier me” during the winter months. I have to start by saying four words, “The Struggle Is Real.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but staying on track during the winter months can be a real struggle. There are a number of obstacles that can trip me up during winter, but today, I will focus on three: celebrating the holidays, feeling under the weather and dealing with Old Man Winter.
Celebrating the Holidays
I love Christmas and all of the busyness that comes with it: buying and wrapping gifts for the grandkids, attending holiday church services, decorating the house, entertaining family and friends. There’s so much to do that finding time for one more thing – like exercise – is a struggle.
Feeling Under the Weather
All that mixing with people can lead to increased exposure to colds and flu. When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is exercise and in some cases, if you have a respiratory infection, it’s best to avoid exercise until you are well. Unfortunately for some, it’s a struggle to get back on track after being laid up.
Dealing with Old Man Winter
I live in Minnesota, a state known for its brutal winters. Snow and cold are part of the deal here, but the more snow we get and the colder it gets, the easier it gets for me to want to hibernate. The shorter days can also have an effect on me. I may feel sluggish and unmotivated, and I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling like that, all I can think about is that comfy couch.
The good thing about any struggle we may face is that it is temporary. If you remind yourself that the struggles are temporary and push past them, you are bound to get positive results. Once you recognize what’s going on and adjust, you can move forward.
To push past some of my winter struggles I try to:
1. Make exercise a priority during the holidays and beyond. I remind myself that by sticking with my exercise routine, I’ll have more energy for all the hustle and bustle and the holidays will be much more enjoyable. I also remind myself that exercise will help keep my spirits up once the holidays are over. Another thing I do is to make sure I have my exercise clothes ready the night before. It’s my secret to helping me mentally prepare for the next morning’s workout.
2. Take precautionary measures against getting colds or flu by getting enough sleep, eating healthy and drinking plenty of fluids. I also wash my hands much more often during the winter months. I may even splurge on myself by getting a massage, and of course, I always get a flu shot.
3. Adjust my schedule to accommodate the winter weather. The best time of day for me to exercise is the first thing in the morning. So, if I know it’s going to snow heavily overnight, I’ll take that into consideration by going to bed earlier and getting up earlier in case I need to shovel snow. That way I can still get my morning workout in. If you are snowed in, then workout at home by shoveling snow, helping neighbors shovel snow, or just go on a nice brisk walk. Don’t use the weather as an excuse for not doing anything, instead use it as a steppingstone.
This is one of the reasons I’m glad I have my NuStep T4r Recumbent Cross Trainer at home. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still a challenge having it at home. The challenge is my wife tries to get on it before me!
We’re all in this together, so I would love to hear how you deal with your winter struggles.
This Week O’Nealism:
“Don’t spend time thinking or justifying ways to avoid working out. Like Nike says: ‘Just Do It.’”