As the fall approaches we are faced once again with shorter days, colder temperatures and more comfort food. Although it varies from person to person, surveys show that the average person puts on 5 to 7 pounds during the winter months.
People often gain weight because they become less active, eat more and spend less time outdoors. In order to avoid seasonal weight gain, it’s important to look for ways to stick to a regular exercise routine and monitor your food intake.
For those who prefer to take their exercise indoors when the weather changes there are many ways to stay active.
Some ideas for indoor exercise include:
Indoor walking—at the mall, hockey arena, other indoor walking and running tracks
Join a gym—Fitness centres provide a wide variety of exercise options including fitness classes and gym programs.
Indoor sports—Many sports can be played indoors including: badminton, squash, carpet bowling, dance etc. Check with your local rec centre or senior’s centre.
Aqua training—warm water fitness classes, lap swimming or walking in warm water is a great, low impact way to exercise with low risk of injury
Mind/body classes—Pilates, yoga, chair yoga (for individuals who cannot get down on the floor) are held in halls, studios, and other venues. These activities help to develop core strength, balance, posture, flexibility and encourage relaxation.
If you prefer exercise in the convenience of your own home:
At home gym— Consider purchasing some exercise equipment. There is a wide range of cardio machines and strength training equipment to suit your budget.
Dance—Throw on your favourite playlist and let loose in the privacy of your living room.
Exercise videos—From step aerobics to tai chi, there is no shortage of options when it comes to finding a motivational exercise video.
Body weight program—You can perform many exercises in your home with little or no equipment including bodyweight exercises.
Don’t plan to fatten up for the winter.
Many of us tend to change from our lighter summer diets and eat more comfort foods like warm casseroles, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, hot and creamy drinks and warm apple pie, but turning to comfort food when the temperatures drop is a sure fire way to gain weight.
To prevent winter weight gain there are lower-calorie and calorie-free ways to create a comforting feeling. Below are tips from “Wellness Matters:”
• Homemade hot chocolate with low-fat milk and real cocoa powder
• Mac and cheese made of whole-grain pasta with veggies with lean meat added to make it a well-balanced meal
• Hearty homemade soups, stews or chili emphasizing lean meat, legumes and vegetables
• Warm fruit crisps—apple, berry or rhubarb—with oats served in a healthy portion
• Mashed potatoes made with chicken stock or milk instead of cream or butter
• Spaghetti or pasta dishes made with whole-grain noodles, tomato sauce and lean meat
• Meatloaf made from ground turkey, chicken or extra lean beef
For more information on Seniors Indoor Exercise Programs please call 250-317-3508.