Have you suddenly been feeling a bit thicker, rounder or bloated than you were a few months or even weeks ago? Maybe you’re not feeling as energetic or are just a bit more sluggish getting out of bed in the mornings? It’s no surprise that many start to put on weight around this time of year, or become complacent with how they look physically. Here are a few reasons why:
No one wants to get up early and go for a run when it’s so dark and dismal outside. The same can be said after work in the evenings; when the evenings were still light till late, it felt like the possibilities were endless as to what we could do. Now we’re more likely to just want to rush home from work and settle in front of the television. With this lack of sunlight and the onset of what is termed a Seasonal Affective Disorder, we might be more akin to making ourselves feeling better with things like food when we’re stuck inside.
Our summer was spent getting in shape for the beach so dieting is the last thing we want to do. That was the first half of summer, with August being spent abroad, or at parties and gigs, consuming alcohol and eating out. As a result we might have put on a few pounds after all that indulgence and are beginning Autumn feeling a little more lethargic. Halloween and Christmas are approaching which are two holidays which encourage the consumptions of sweets and big meals. With Halloween, it’s tucking into sweets from trick or treating. With Christmas, we can look forward to the office party or Christmas party, as well as other parties with friends. This is all before the big day which is when we go overboard with spending and eating of high-calorie meals, of which meat is a big component; there is the tendency to have more desserts than normal too.
In summer, we were motivated to get in shape as we were showing off more skin on the beach in shorts and bikinis. With the cold weather, we’re wrapping up a bit more, with layers and jumpers that are more about warmth than aesthetic look. So we’re not as concerned with how we’re looking but more about how we’re feeling.
So what can you do to help be more active and motivate yourself to stay in shape? Here are a few tips:
With the weather being unpredictable and usually not too inviting, you need to focus on what you can control: diet. You are still in charge of what you buy on your weekly food shop, and in fact, if you can make healthy decisions here, you’ll be less likely to venture out for alternatives because the weather is so bad. Eat dinner earlier in the evening so your metabolism can break it down before you go to bed. For general well being, take vitamins like B12 which you would normally be exposed to through sunlight but may not get as much of now. Cinnamon supplements are a worthy addition to incorporate into your regime if you’re serious about staying in shape or detoxing after summer; they remove toxins and help with bloating which can take off inches before that big Christmas party.
You can also treat the weather as a good motivator and look on the bright side. Some find that running in colder is actually easier because you don’t sweat as much. While it’s not recommended that you remain outside in low temperatures or rain for long periods, running in cold winds can act as good resistance training as you have to work harder to propel yourself forward.
If the weather doesn’t give itself up to going for a walk or run, there is always the option of the gym so you can work out indoors. If you start going at this time of the year, you’re more likely to continue following the popular festive period when everyone makes resolutions to go but usually give up; at this point in January, it will be second nature and a big part of your life so you’re more likely to continue if you begin now. If you can carpool with others, working out in a group is incredibly motivating or you can join a group and meet people there.
The Christmas Party:
The Work Christmas Party is the chance to see others in a completely different light and interact with people on a level you wouldn’t normally. In bigger companies it can be a lavish affair and a chance to really dress up. If you’ve got a crush at work you’ve been wanting to reveal your feelings to for ages, this could be your chance; and looking your best for them is an excellent way to stay motivated to do so. The LBD (Little Black Dress) is tried and tested for women for the Christmas Party, but like the name says, you need to keep on track so you actually fit into it when the night comes.