Shape Up-'Tis the Season to Stay Fit!

Shape Up-'Tis the Season to Stay Fit!


It's that time of year... the extended winter season, which means overindulgence, lethargy and unhealthy eating! Exercise is certainly the most easily avoided part of our fitness routine during this time of the year because people. But there ARE ways that you can avoid weight gain over the season and even cross "Losing Weight" off of your New Year's Resolution list.

                One of the major reasons that we tend to gain weight gain during the winter is lack of activity. The weather and the shorter days make us more tired, less motivated, and not wanting to stick to any type of routine. The truth is, you don't have to work out seven days a week to maintain your fitness level, not even five, but you must stick to a routine. Not only will it help keep weight gain down, it will give you more energy and reduce your stress levels. Kelsey Newman, fitness coordinator at the Court Jester Athletic Club says "You can stay fit during the winter by having a schedule and sticking to it. Whether that means going Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday or Tuesday/ Thursday you've got to stay loyal to a routine. Two days per week with a personal trainer can help out immensely; not only does the trainer give you that one-on-one attention you need, they also can help you target specific goals and reach them!" She also says that you should never be afraid to indulge, but to just be smart about it. If you'd rather have pecan pie over pumpkin, then do so. Chances are, if you eat the pumpkin because it's lower in calories you might find yourself nibbling at the pecan later out of temptation and craving. Here are a few tricks to staying healthy over the winter:

Balance your meals out: Don't be tempted to fill up your plate with purely rich, calorie-laden food. Instead, have a little of everything including fruit and vegetables.

Review your cooking methods: These days, there is no excuse for not utilizing the many healthy ways in which food can be prepared, try grilling instead of frying.

Exercise: Develop a routine and stick to it! Treat yourself to a gym membership or exercise related items, such as new sneakers, a kettlebell, or personal training sessions at your local fitness club.

If you know what your target heart rate is, and can maintain your heart rate at that level for 20- 25 minutes and allow yourself no more than 30 - 45 seconds rest between sets and exercises, then you'll get the effect of a one hour workout. If you don't know your target heart rate think of it this way: On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the level of exertion you would feel sitting on a couch eating cookies and 10 being the exertion level you would feel if you just got done pushing your Cadillac uphill) you want your exertion level to be at 6 or 7. If you stay active all year round, you won't always have to put "losing weight" on your list of New Year's resolutions.


Kelsey Newman, Fitness Director

Court Jester Athletic Clubs, Johnson City & Binghamton