February 12, 2014 | by Bucky Mitchell
Taking stock
winter, running, fitness, taking stock, gay news, Washington Blade

Winter is a great time to take stock of your fitness regimen.

While most of us slow down and go into hibernation for the winter, I often feel the wintertime is the best time to reflect, explore and experiment with your healthy behaviors. Therefore, I wanted to share both quick tips and things you can do about during the cold winter months.

Food patterns

Winter is a great time to try to experiment with changes in your regular food patterns or behaviors. While I don’t believe in diets or diet plans, I do think changes in food patterns can really help in losing weight for some people.

Every person and body type is different and therefore, everyone responds differently to certain food pattern changes. Diet fads or diet plans, are not a “one size fits all”-type thing. Why do you think there are so many of them? You should try a food pattern change that is best for you. I have seen a number of my clients succeed with the Paleo diet where others have had desired results with the fasting diet or the Adkins diet. Whatever option you choose to try, be sure to listen to what feels right in your body.

Your body knows best, so listen to it. For example, if you are on the Paleo diet and it makes you feel slow and sluggish, then maybe it isn’t the right diet for you. In addition, it takes about three to four weeks for the body to really process and understand a significant change in your eating behaviors. Therefore, don’t give up. Stay with it for a good month or so. One of my favorite quick food pattern changes is having vegetables at breakfast time. I have considerably more energy if I eat a salad or veggies with protein in the morning.

Make the gym fun

Often when I hear gym members’ chatting they are often speaking negatively about working out or having to come to the gym to exercise. The gym should be a place you enjoy coming to everyday. Personally, I see the gym and my workout as a sacred time and place where I can let all the outside noises and stress of life melt away.

It’s important for everyone to reflect on what the gym means to them and begin practicing that behavior during the winter time. Whatever that meaning is.

So how can you make the gym more fun?  First, begin your workout with your favorite song and your favorite exercise. Turn up the volume and work it out. Second, also start your workout out with some really good deep stretching and deep breathing. You will feel more relaxed and focused. Third, try not to carry your phone around with you at the gym. That’s right, no phone. I find that our phones tend to be more of a distraction than a help when it comes to focusing on the gym. Let the work emails and text messages go and focus on yourself.  If your phone is your music source then turn off the emails and ignore the texts.

Research something fitness related

Did you know that we read most during the winter months? As the temperature drops and the snow flies, try snuggling up with your iPad or Kindle by reading up on the latest fitness trends.

Have you had an interest in doing High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) but aren’t sure how it’s different from other types of training?  Do you know what essential vitamins and minerals are in kale that make it a super food? Maybe you want to learn more about hiking outdoors and what locations in the area are the best for good trials. For instance, I have been doing a lot of research and reading a lot about Spirulina.  Did you know that Spirulina is really an algae that grows off the coast of South America, Mexico and Africa? It’s considered a superfood because it is packed with vitamin B-12, protein, beta carotene and all of the essential amino acids. Needless to say, I have been incorporating a teaspoon into my diet everyday. The internet is your oyster — go find the pearls of wisdom.

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