Health & Fitness: Don’t Let a Snow Day Throw You Off Track

By Ashley Aragona on January 28, 2013 from Health & Fitness via Connect-Bridgeport.com

As I look outside this morning, I have to think; “How many workouts is this weather screwing up?” Now don’t get me wrong, I like winter… until New Years, then I am ready for spring. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way, but the cold temps, and snowy conditions don’t have to get you, or your workout off track.
 
I’m not saying you should go to the gym at all costs, no matter what the weather conditions are. In fact, I think that if you’re able to stay in and enjoy the snow from a warm house snuggled in pj’s, well, then you should do it. Taking a snow day, however, doesn’t mean you have to get yourself off track with your goals. Even if you aren’t set up with a home gym, treadmill, or even dumbbells you can still burn some calories and keep moving towards your goal. I've composed a short list of some workout tips to do at home, as well as some tips on keeping to your goals on your day off.
 
1. Don’t Gorge on Comfort Food
 
Nothing is better on a cold day then a hot bowl of soup and a grilled cheese. Or, maybe it’s a hot chocolate with big marshmallows. Whatever it is, just keep in mind your goals. If you are going to have some soup, try to aim for chicken noodle, vegetable, black bean or a low sodium tomato rather than a cream based soup such as Clam Chowder or Corn Chowder. If you’re going to eat a grilled cheese, skip some calories by using a low-fat cheese as well as using cooking spray rather than butter. In addition, swap your white bread for a whole grain and get some added nutrients.
 
If you’re into hot drinks, opt for hot green tea rather than hot chocolate and get some powerful antioxidants into your system. If you really want hot chocolate, try to find a lower calorie or sugar-free version. Swiss Miss has a low-calorie version that has received rave reviews. Also, try to swap out either your milk for water, or your 2% milk for skim. If you are using a regular hot chocolate, you can probably get away with using water (or mixing half milk half water) and not noticing too much of a difference. If you are using a low-calorie version you may want to opt for 2% milk to keep some richness to the drink.
 
2. Try to Keep Busy
 
We’re not saying to turn your snow day into a no fun day, but if you notice you are starting to have the “munchies” it might just be that you need to get your mind off of it. Take this time to organize a cabinet you’ve been meaning to, play with your pets, paint your nails, read a book, you name it, the possibilities are endless. The main point is to get your mind off of that “bored” feeling, which can lead to the munchies. In fact, new studies have shown that you are 30-40% more likely to eat while lounging on the couch watching TV. Food Network had to have something to do with that study…
 
Get moving if you start getting that “I want something but I don’t know what I want” feeling. It’s only leading you down a long road of bad choices trying to find something to satiate your desire to munch.
 
3. Power Clean
 
Yes, it’s a real thing. In fact, so real that Energize Your Life Blog recently posted a whole post on how many calories you can burn cleaning your house.
 
Some of their totals?
 
  • Burn 73 calories doing laundry.
  • Burn 112 calories cleaning the windows.
  • Burn 144 calories painting.
  • Burn 112 calories sweeping.
  • Burn 127 calories mopping.
  • Burn 210 calories climbing stairs.
(All of these were for a period of 30 minutes with some “oomph!” to your cleaning routine)
 
4. Take Advantage of TV Fitness Programs
 
Many people have a tv provider today that has a fitness channel readily available. Dish Network for example, has a whole section dedicated to fitness and at home workouts. You can pick your style, intensity, and even time you want to spend working out. No fitness TV available? No problem. Hook up your iPod and dance, do lunges, climb your stairs or do push ups. Do the basic workout moves you are comfortable with at the gym. Even if you are used to having weights, you will still get your blood flowing by moving. Furniture and everyday items found in your home can also make great assets when you’re trying to get a workout in.
 
That's not exactly what we meant....
 
Couches and chairs are great for triceps dips, deep lunges and stretching. Stairs, well that’s a given. Do ten minutes running, or sprinting up and down your stairs. Alternate between every step and every other step to mix it up. Walls? We all have those. These are great for wall squats, stretching and balancing yourself to do one leg calf raises. Be creative! Just be careful in the process.
 
5. Play Games
 
Wii, and Xbox Kinect have really helped give adults a reason to play games. You can really get a sweat on with some of these games if you really push yourself. Take today as a reason to play some games and have fun. If you’re brave enough to go outside, you can get some great exercise playing in the snow, building a snowman, and sledding. (Gotta climb those hills to go down!) Just make sure you bundle up properly so you don’t hinder your next gym session.
 
I hope some of these ideas have got your snow-day fitness wheels turning and that you have a safe, warm, and healthy day!
 
Here’s to an adult, guilt free snow day. Enjoy!
 
Until next time, yours in health and fitness,
Ashley



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