The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Winter warm-ups

Amy Bowden on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the Winter slump

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Winter is on its way, which means after a busy day at uni we all must barricade ourselves indoors with a hot beverage in one hand and the TV remote in the other, right? So I’m also guessing that all of the hard work you put in for that ‘summer body’ is to be thrown out of the window? We are all guilty of hibernating over the winter period as well as eating our body weight in chocolate treats and hot, heavy dinners. And let’s face is, the festive period which is fast approaching doesn’t exactly help with our diet plans. Although motivation levels are running low as the cold weather creeps up on us, we must re-inspire ourselves to keep fit during this upcoming season. Only one change is required: your mindset! So here are some tips on how to stay motivated.

Train for an event
Any big 21st birthdays coming up?  Or want to feel fabulous on New Year’s Eve in that glitzy number you’ve been hiding away because you’re too comfortable in baggy jumpers? How about signing up for the next 5km run? There’s nothing like a short-term goal to keep your mind focussed and on track with your training. Start off by doing three thirty minute jogs a week, and build it up as and when you feel confident. You can even update your playlist with festive tunes to get in the Christmas spirit. Winter is also the best time for running as you’ll find yourself running faster to keep warm!

 
Try something new and set a goal
Don’t like running much? No problem! Set a weight loss target for yourself and work towards and beyond it. Try an indoor class if you don’t think you can face running in the torrential rain. How about Zumba, yoga, dance classes or netball? You may even make some new friends and learn new skills. So find your nearest class and get burning those calories! Alternatively, you could do a home workout, whether that be a new workout DVD, investing in some fitness equipment or if you’re feeling adventurous, create your own exercise routine. Have a look at some You Tube workout videos that have proven to be very useful to some. 

Diet
Post-workout food? Protein helps your body repair itself so eat plenty of eggs, chicken, beans, salmon, tuna and so on.

Foods with fibre: brown rice, whole-wheat pasta/bread.

Metabolism boosters: Green tea, grapefruit, oats, turkey, almonds, berries, broccoli.

Low calorie snack ideas: fresh fruit, low fat yoghurt, olives, vegetables.

The key aspect to keep in mind with any diet is ‘balance’. Ensure that you maintain a healthy diet of carbs, but good carbs such as whole-grain foods and potatoes, milk and dairy foods, protein and fruit and veg.

Reward yourself
After all of this hard work you definitely deserve a treat, whether that be a new outfit for your new and improved body, or a glass/bottle of wine. Fancy a takeaway one evening? A treat every so often is fine as long as you keep motivated. So why not use 20 minutes out of the 1440 you have in a day for a great winter workout!