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I have well over one thousand hours of direct coaching and counseling hours and I have found a few similarities with Iowans barriers to healthy living. The most prevalent is the change from fall to winter. The time change with day light savings, freezing temperatures, the unending urge to crawl into a hole and hibernate for three to six months. Here’s the deal though, your weight loss and health goals don’t stop when the temperature drops. So I know what you’re thinking, “What do you expect me to do Coach Kody?!” I expect you, to make winter work for you!
Figure out a safe indoor exercise regimen
Thanks to COVID, the fitness industry has flexed to meet the needs of those who were not able to make it into the gym by producing on demand fitness programming you can subscribe to at home. Apple Fitness, Nike Trainer, Peloton and many other have at home workouts and a huge variety of trainers to help you get moving this winter.
Dive into healthy seasonal cooking
Winter is a great season for cooking healthy. Root vegetables come into season and can be used for soups, stews, roasts, and much more. Try out recipes that use spaghetti, butter nut, acorn patty pan squash, Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, clementine’s, tangerines, and oranges. Try cooking a pan roast, new soups, or other creative recipes to help with your health goals this winter.
Focus on your sleep
We hear all the time, our patients are lacking energy and feel tired throughout the day. Well there is no better time of the year to focus on your sleep than winter. Make goals to sleep as much as your body needs. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, you can use an electronic tracker ( Apple Watch) to determine your sleep patterns or go one week with going to bed extra early and seeing when you wake naturally. Its important to make this a regular habit, the body likes sleep repetition. Also if you are not sleeping well, your weight loss and healthy habits will be negatively impacted.
Take up mindfulness and meditative activities
Seasonal depression is a concern with many of our patients, we want to help you work through the seasonal blues (please note that if you have chronic or worsening depression to reach out for help or call in to the clinic to know what resources are available to you). You can start by taking time to sit in silence and calm your mind for 5 to 10 minutes at a time and practice deep breathing. Taking up a journaling and being able to reflect on the day, and emotions can be a very powerful tool for improving you mental state and gaining insight and perspective.
Work on a project you have put off
Another common concern we hear from patients is habitual or boredom snacking. One way to tackle changing this habit is to take up a hobby. Find an enjoyable in door activity that helps fuel your creativity and brings you some sort of fulfillment. We have patients that enjoy arts like paining and sketching others that read or knit. These habits help keep the mind focused so it doesn’t feel the need to snack.
-Kody Reiser, RDN, & Bariatric Wellness Coach