Tips for Maintaining Fitness in Winter

Workout Tips to Maintain Fitness & Nutrition in Winter Months

When the weather outside turns frightful, it’s tempting to hibernate indoors eating hearty meals and wait for warmer days, forgoing all exercise and healthy eating habits.  But, adding a little extra cushion isn’t a smart way to stay warm. Instead, why not work up a sweat?

Winter workouts and nutritious winter meals can keep away those extra holiday pounds and the cold weather blues. Try these healthy tips this winter:

  • Connect with your Health Coach: As a Harken Health member you can regularly schedule a call-in session with your Harken Health Coach. They can provide suggestions and tips for eating healthy and staying active in the winter so that you don’t become bored with the same foods and exercise routines.
  • Keep your routine going: Don’t allow bulky sweater season to lure you to the couch. If you’ve always exercised in the morning, keep it up! Slip on the same workout clothes you normally wear. If you find that the top of your pants are getting a little snug, it may be time to put in a call to your Harken Health Coach to revamp your diet and workout routine.
  • Head outdoors: With the right cold weather gear—boots that grip, a warm hat and gloves to keep fingers toasty—you can work up a sweat outside. If your neighborhood sidewalks are clear, go for a walk. Other outdoor calorie-burning activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating and sledding. Shoveling (using the right technique and form to protect your back) can burn up to 400 calories an hour. Even the act of shivering burns calories.
  • Drop into a fitness class: Join a group exercise class at your nearby Harken Health Center. Connecting with others is a good way to stay accountable, find inspiration and get a mood boost.
  • Get active at home: When the roads are too treacherous to head to your nearby Harken Health Center for fitness classes, turn your home into a gym. Search the internet for free workout programs and indoor exercises you can do at home. Use canned goods to strength train. Do lunges around the home while talking on the phone. Just because you’re trapped inside doesn’t mean you can’t burn some calories.
  • Gear up: The next time you’re at a sporting goods store, pick up affordable resistance bands and an exercise ball to use when you’re snowbound. Stock up on free workout DVDs from your local library or find some workouts on YouTube.
  • Don’t stop moving: A fitness tracker that keeps tabs on the number of daily steps you take is a great motivating tool. Not hitting your daily goal? March around the room while watching TV, go up and down the stairs a few times or cover some ground at an indoor shopping mall.

Incorporating Healthy Initiatives in the Workplace

The cold weather months are typically jammed packed with holiday parties, potluck lunches, gift baskets and enough sweets to feed the community. While delicious, it can also put you in a permanent sugar comma. To keep yourself energized and healthy during the winter try to incorporate engaging programs for you and your co-workers. A few ideas include:

  • Provide healthy lunch options: While we all love a family style potluck, encourage the team to bring in side dishes under 300 calories. This allows them to enjoy a nice meal without the guilt.
  • Holiday Biggest Loser: During the winter months, most people see the scale going in the wrong direction. With parties, vacations and limited outdoor time, it can be tough to stay motivated. By introducing a friendly office challenge, employees will be motivated to stick to their routine and not let the extra pounds sneak up on them.
  • Create a Walking Group: There’s no better time to start a walking group than during the winter. When the weather is brisk, find nearby indoor places to meet. Whether it’s the office stairwell or a nearby mall, there’s always places to get your steps in.

Harken Health is a new kind of health care company that connects relationship-based primary care with a range of competitively priced health insurance plan options. As a member you have access to our wellness program plan offerings include around-the-clock access to a dedicated Care Team, consultations with health coaches and behavioral health specialists, exercise and wellness classes at Harken Health Centers in both Chicago and Atlanta. Visit Harken Health to learn more.


Content is for general informational purposes only and not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. See your Harken Health Care Team or physician for medical advice personalized to your situation.

 Harken Health Insurance Company does not determine what care is provided to patients at the Harken Health Centers.

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