Snap Out Of IT!

Posted by Beth Hartman

Just Because The Sun Is Setting Earlier Now, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Time To Hibernate!

Yep, we just went through that time of year again, of putting our clocks back 1 hour to say good-bye to Day Light Savings Time. Which means we lose an hour of daylight from this point on, and it only gets worse as we approach the winter solstice which happens between the days of, Dec. 20th to Dec. 24th.which amounts to the least amount of sunlight we get at this time of the year.

As the hours of light now get shorter and the weather turns colder it sure is easy to get into hibernation mode in most parts of the northern hemisphere. Be honest, don’t you want to eat heavier foods (and more of them) this time of year? Kind of makes you think of those bears stocking up and looking to find a cozy dark cave to hibernate in till spring, right?

Most of us find it harder to want to exercise this time of year in the dark and cold. As we enter fall and approach winter you might want to be thoughtful and proactive to keep your good health behaviors of the summer consistent in the winter, as well as eating just as much and more importantly, continue eating those healthy fibers and protein-laden foods, instead of carb-loaded pasta and white flour based, processed foods.

Here are a few ideas to keep you just as fitness-minded in these colder, dark months as you were when the sun was high in the sky in late spring and early summer.

In a way, you’re fighting against a biological clock that seems like it wants us to break out those larger size dinner plates and soup bowls that are the size of platters and serving bowls. Filling them up with rich foods like mashed potatoes swimming in a rich gravy, while a large pot-roast along with some deep dish apple pie is just waiting on the side-board to top off your late autumn meal.

Now don’t get me wrong. A meal like that once in a while makes even my mouth water. But, if you were on the path to a fitter you during the summer months, well, why cash in all those chips you earned (and I don’t mean potato chips) by working out this past spring and summer, and just chalk it off to, this is what we all do this time of year, eating wise.

Well, you heard the old saying “Anything worthwhile is worth working for”? That also means keeping yourself healthy and the fit you all year long, not just when the sun shines long, hot and bright!

When it comes to exercise and diet decisions in the fall and winter you really want to be proactive and not reactive. You really can’t just wing it. You have to think through how you are going to structure your time, work, exercise, and even your meal planning in such a way that you maximize the time spent each day so that you can continue to maintain that healthy balance you had during the summer months. Just like you have to be organized about your work, and any household chores, you really have to use the same organizational skills to map out how you will exercise and eat during challenging times of the fall and winter months. Having a reasonable exercise game plan for rain, snow, cold, and darkness is critical. Having a reasonable game plan to eat right instead of giving into your cravings for wanting to eat high fat and high-calorie rich foods is also important too (especially once we get to the winter holidays).

Don’t Go It Alone: It is a lot easier to maintain good habits if you have social support and corrective feedback from trusted others. Keeping a good diet and exercise plan during the fall and winter is a lot easier if you are reporting in with someone or trying to do it with others. A spouse, close friend, co-worker, or anyone you might trust and enjoy can allow you the opportunity to accomplish your winter goals, just like the summer ones.

Like any plan, you need to make yourself accountable for what you’re doing, and how much you’re progressing. Now, sometimes a little motivation is a good thing. And in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, which seems to come on a little faster each year we get older. It’s not a bad idea to give yourself a pre-holiday gift of a new activity watch. One that you can really get into, that monitors you 24x7, even while you’re sleeping. One watch that can really hold you accountable is the Garmin Vivomove HR  Vivomove HR combines an analog watch with an LED readout that seems to pop right off the traditional watch face, layering that touch display on top of the analog watch. Frankly, it looks pretty good, and it seems to have a full set of fitness readouts. This sophisticated watch monitors your heart rate from your wrist. In addition to counting steps and monitoring sleep, Vívomove HR uses heart rate to provide calories burned information and quantify the intensity of your fitness activities.

Besides the tracking capabilities, this smartwatch has to offer, it also keeps track of your stress levels. And who doesn’t experience higher levels of stress, especially as we move closer into the holiday shopping season? What with making sure everything you need to get done is getting done, and making sure you’re knocking everything off of your to-do list as well as finding that important time to get your daily exercise in. Well, the Vivomove HR can handle that as well.

It lets you know when you are having a calm, balanced or stressful day and everything in between, thanks to all-day stress tracking. If your stress level gets elevated during your day, you’ll know it’s time to take a break and maybe fend off a headache or other physical symptoms. Use the relaxation timer to work through a deep breathing exercise, and lower your stress.

So there you have it. With the proper motivation, you’re going to be getting from your new Garmin, along with your friends and exercise partners you will be on a good course of maintaining your summertime commitment to a healthier you, right on through the darkness of winter. You should be able to come out of the darkness and into the light of spring without carrying around any excess baggage of extra pounds around your hips and belly.

So, come on, who’s up for a run as the sun begins to set on a mid-fall day this autumn season? There might even be a cup of cider waiting for us at the end!


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