Staying Fit in Winter

snowy street with vignette (1 of 1)First off - I'm going to redefine "fit" for the purpose of this article.

Fit (n) : vibrant, having access to free-flowing energy in the body, well and healthy

This winter has been INSANE (Polar Vortex is not, apparently, a specialty blended cocktail featuring peppermint schnapps) and many well-meaning people have joked "Well!  you picked the wrong year to move to Wisconsin!" Cute.  Speciality cocktails and well-meaning  Wisconsinites in 5 layers of smart wool aside:

It can be really challenging to feel vibrant and healthy this time of year and I have actually been pleasantly surprised with the lack of SAD and 5# of hot chocolate gain I was - honestly - expecting.  Drum roll, please?

Top 5 Things that Have Kept Me Fit This Winterice on tree2 with vignette (1 of 1)

1. Exercise

You were expecting naps?  But seriously - I have made a concerted and sometimes not super perky effort to make sure I exercise every. single. day.  Some days are hard core training days at the gym or in my basement, hauling kettlebells and my bodyweight around with vigor.  Other days I make it to a yoga class.  Over Christmas, I went snow shoeing and walked on the dread mill.  But there have been VERY few days where I haven't moved in some way and it has made ALL the difference in the world.

2. Green Food

I am vata-pitta dosha, so raw food and I just really don't get along in winter.  Salads?  Forget about it.  I've had to make the conscious decision to get green veggies into my life because I lean so heavily toward winter veggies like sweet potatoes this time of year.

  • Drink a green smoothie every day or so
  • Put a scoop of Ormus Greens in my water bottle
  • Sautee kale or spinach as a side dish

3. Fat

After spending so many years on the diet train, the idea of purposefully adding significant amounts of fat to my diet was -frankly - terrifying.  But with my excema flaring up and my hair falling out... I went ahead and tried it.  BAM. Skin cleared up, brain fog went down, sugar cravings decreased.

  • Switch to whole milk for coffee
  • Add Coconut Oil to my a.m. coffee or smoothie
  • Take HIGH QUALITY Omega-3 Fatty Acids (take my advice: don't buy the cheap stuff.  $30/bottle is worth it to not...ahem..."repeat" sardine oil all day)
  • Eat nuts for snacks

4. Vitamin D

This is going to sound ridiculous, but the best day of this winter, it was -15.  I had just finished a kettlebell class with a friend and was sitting at Chipotle nomming a salad in front of a giant picture window.  SUN!!!!!

  • Sit by the window at the coffee shop
  • Go outside for a walk if it's at or above your cold threshold (25 for me)
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement. Sunshine in a bottle : Trust me on that one.
  • Sun lamp or lights -- I use full spectrum lights in the basement for my videos, so I just pop those on when I'm working out down there!

5. Radical Self Awareness and Acceptance

There are "those days" -- when I think I'm going to tear my hear out because it's blowing snow AGAIN.  The trick is knowing what you need, and I've stopped judging myself when I realize what that is on any given day.

  • Do a few burpees or jog your stairs if you need to expend energy
  • Wrap up in a blanket with a  book if you need comfort
  • Watch a movie or take a nap if you just need to check out
  • Get on Pinterest and visualize yourself in the beautiful places you want to be

I really really really don't like winter.  But I really really really like feeling pretty damn good most of the time and don't see any reason why the weather should get to interfere with that.