Holiday Season

You may or may not have wondered where I had ventured off to since I have been MIA for a few weeks. Life just got to me and I had to take a step back from the blog and my business. Too much has been going on lately in my life, add to that the holidays and everything else, I’m still not back to normal but I am slowly getting there.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their time with family and/or friends! Personally I had the best Christmas I had had in a long, long time. It wasn’t anything spectacular by any means but it was special to me and I really lived it up and enjoyed it as much as I could.

This post is short, and hopefully sweet, because I just wanted to get back out there and post something. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I promise you that I will be making more of an effort to get awesome posts published these coming weeks, particularly with the New Year coming up. We will make 2016 our best year yet. Here are some posts to help you make it until my next ones, a three part series about how to survive winter while focusing on your health (just click on the links in the captions of the images to view the blog posts):

winter fitness tips
Winter Fitness Tips
Winter healthy comfort tips
Winter Healthy Comfort Tips
Winter Motivation Tips
Winter Motivation Tips

 

How was your Christmas? Did you get any gifts that you’re particularly happy for? Or did you realize that all the gifts you really need are in your life already such as your family, friends, pets, etc.?

~Bonnie~

Winter Motivation Tips

This is Part 3 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness. You can find Part 1 here: Winter Fitness Tips and Part 2 here: Winter Healthy Comfort Tips.

Today I am discussing ways to keep your motivation strong throughout winter. Here are some tips that have helped me presently as well as last year:

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal: keep focused on your WHY:
    Why you want to lose weight, but also why doing your best throughout the winter to lose weight and improve your health is so important to you personally. What are you most looking forward to this coming spring or summer? Would you like to be healthier and be able to enjoy it even more?
  2. Think about each event coming up and focus on each one at a time:
    Holidays, seasons themselves, events, vacations, etc. Any kind of special occasion you’re looking forward to or have a party for. Use it to your advantage to keep you focused and on track.
  3. Stay focused on your goals:
    Think about your short-term goals. Make weekly and/or monthly goals that will help you stay focused on the here and now. If you have a long-term goal, breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals that you can focus on weekly will help immensely. That way you have something to look forward to but aren’t overwhelming yourself.
  4. Find supportive support:
    Having support is pretty important, but having the right support is even more important. Make sure you are choosing people that will support you and have your back no matter what. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life already, try online support such as SparkPeople. You can find all kinds of support there: chat forum (even on the mobile app), friends, blogging feedback. Of course take everything with a grain of salt because where there are people, there are going to be negative nellies or just downright troublemakers.
  5. Create a motivation board just for winter:
    Have you ever heard of a “vision board?” Well, I prefer to call mine a motivation board because that’s how I see it. I fully plan on making a winter motivation board for short-term visualization purposes and have even started collecting pictures for it. So I encourage you to include all the things that motivate you: pictures, certain words/phrases, or other items that symbolize your WHY.
  6. Create and/or work on your Weight Loss Journal:
    There are so many ways to go about this and you can include anything at all that you want to. You should include the things that motivate and inspire you, as well as including some of your accomplishments. You can also include your progress pictures here, letters to yourself, descriptions of your healthy living goals and dreams or experiences themselves, pictures of things you like that represent healthy living. Starting my own weight loss journal saved me last winter. It helped keep me motivated and was very therapeutic to work on.

 

Some general life tips for getting through winter as well:

  • Do things you enjoy doing: read a good book, go to an indoor game place such as an arcade or bowling alley, go ice skating… just do anything fun that makes you excited and happy!
  • Keep warm: If you have a fireplace, sit in front of it or roast some marshmallows. Pretend you’re camping in your own living room. Remember what it was like to be a kid! Drink hot beverages (caloric ones in moderation), snuggle up with the pets/loved ones, get moving to get the blood flowing, etc.
  • Get out once in a while. If you’re like me, you might spend too much time indoors. So if you need to get out, get out. If the weather is bad, go somewhere indoors: the library, a mall, bowling alley/pool hall/arcade or something else, or simply make an enjoyable outing of your trip to the grocery store.
  • Sit and breathe. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and let your thoughts take you wherever they want… but guide them with positive vibes/thoughts. I guess you could call this meditating in a sense. I’m not sure about “meditating” myself but definitely enjoy a quiet moment just being.
  • Keep your hands and mind busy: Board games, puzzles, word searches/crossword puzzles/Sudoku, online games especially ones you need to play with actual people, active video games, and much much more!

 

What is your favorite way to combat the winter blues? Would you like to share any tips on keeping motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the colder and darker months?

~Bonnie~

Winter Fitness Tips

This is Part 1 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness.

(And here is Part 2: “Winter Healthy Comfort Tips” if you want to check that out as well!)

Today I am bringing you winter fitness tips. It can be quite hard to continue your exercise plan as the weather gets colder and colder. You’re used to warm weather and being able to get out more. Now all of a sudden it’s dark earlier, cutting your available exercise time even shorter. Not to mention the chilly air and low temperatures. Those can really present a challenge for many of us.

  • First of all, if you’re going to exercise outdoors, bundle up and layer your clothes too. I personally like to do a tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a coat when it’s super cold. Also try leggings under your pants, or use thermal underwear to wear under your clothes. Plus a hat, gloves, and scarf as necessary.
    • Ideally you should get exercise clothes that wick away moisture (sweat) to keep you warmer. However, if you’re like me and even bundled up can’t manage to spend much time outside, regular clothes work just fine.
  • If it’s icy outside, be extra careful. Shoes with good traction in the treads are necessary, maybe even good fitting snow boots specifically for walks in the snow/ice would be beneficial. Walking sticks might be a good option as well.
Now obviously you can choose to exercise indoors as well:
  • Join a gym. If you want to and can afford it, this is a valid option. Weigh the pros and cons though. If you feel you really will go and will make it a priority, then invest. If not, then choose some alternative exercise options. You don’t want to waste money.
  • Exercise videos: stock up on exercise videos that interest you, either physical DVDs/discs or online subscription, or even free services such as On Demand or YouTube!
  • Dance around your house. You can do this anytime, with children or pets or some other loved one… or even by yourself! It’s very versatile. You can even dance with or without music. Let the moves just carry you away.
  • Walking in place. You can do this almost literally anywhere. If you have pedometer or fitness tracker, set a goal for yourself… or set a time minimum instead. Use the timer on your phone to make sure you’re moving for a certain amount of time.
  • Get more steps in everyday life. Be “inefficient.” Take extra steps to accomplish your daily chores in order to increase your activity. Instead of grabbing as much as you can to carry in one trip (such as laundry or grocery bags), take them one at a time. It adds up, trust me!
  • Small equipment: Dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, hula hoops, mini trampoline, step up stool, a small stepper, and sometimes even a stationary bike are smaller and take up less room to store in your house except at times of use.
  • Clean or organize! You can certainly work up quite a sweat and get your heartrate up just by cleaning and organizing your house. Clean and organize in stages if necessary, but use the things you don’t do on a daily or weekly basis as exercise! Plus all extra activity is a great idea and good for your health! It’s hard work physically and you also get the added bonus of a clean and orderly house!
  • Mall walking. Grab a friend to go walking around the mall just to get your walking in… or even go by yourself! Depending on the size of your mall, you can get quite a few steps in just walking a couple loops!

 

There you have it, some tips to at least get you started and/or get the mental juices flowing.

Do you have a plan for winter exercise? If so, what is it? If not, do these tips help you?

~Bonnie~