The cold weather doesn’t have to mean that you are stuck inside at a gym all the time. Winter is a great time to enjoy a little bit of the outdoors too! Whether it’s a brisk walk on some nearby hiking trails on a sunny day or snowshoeing through a local field or hitting the slopes, there is an abundance of ways you can enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise during the winter. Here are some quick tips for fueling your outdoor adventures this winter!
Stay Hydrated – It’s easy to forget to drink fluids in the winter – you don’t feel hot and probably don’t feel like you're sweating as much as normal, but your body actually requires more fluid this time of year. You use extra fluid to hydrate the air you breathe and replace what you lose from sweating. Drink water before, during and after you exercise and eat plenty of foods high in fluid like fruits and vegetables.
Power Up – Just as you prep for exercising the rest of the year, it’s important to get proper nutrition before and after hitting the slopes or trails in the winter. During the colder months food not only provides energy, it also helps warm up your core and your muscles. Lean protein, whole grains and some healthy fats at every meal will give your body the energy it needs to be your best. Foods like steel cut oats, berries and low-fat milk or yogurt, a whole grain wrap with turkey, avocado and cheese, hearty soups and stews are perfect meals to provide the nutrition and energy you need.
Pack snacks – If you are planning on being outside for a while pack a few snacks to keep you fueled for your full adventure. Think of things like trail mix, dried fruits, a pouch of Tuna or Salmon Creations®, peanut butter and crackers, baby carrots with hummus or an energy bar are good snacks to pack in your backpack alongside a bottle of water.
Warm up – When you return from your winter excursion you might need to warm your body and take the chill off. Soups and stews full of lean protein and vegetables will warm your core and give you the protein and nutrients your body needs to recover. If you’re not ready for a full meal, try a cup of hot chocolate instead – it will give you the protein you need to help your muscles recover or try green tea with antioxidants that will help with inflammation, as well as warm your body.
Beat the Blues! Got the winter blues? Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your energy and mood up! But that doesn’t mean a grueling 10 mile run or all day hike in the woods! What better way to give your mood a little boost than an impromptu snowball fight, sled ride or making snow angels in a fresh snowfall? So grab your kids or BFF and head outside for some fresh air and exercise! Your mind and body will thank you for the fun break!