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During Winter, Watch That Weight

Cooler weather can invite many ailments and weight gain is but one.

Perth, WA, 7 July 2014 – Cooler months can be the enemy of good health, and there are a few scientific reasons why.

According to Michelle Monks, Gym Manager of Warwick Women’s Workout, “Lots of people go into indoor hiding, or hibernation during colder weather, but they should always be mindful of getting too much into a comfort zone that it plays tricks with their health,” she says.

Just plain cold weather is the most basic reason for weight gain, she says, as well as a dip in metabolism. It’s a natural occurrence that most people have to fight a little bit harder to combat.

Simply feeling ill will knock out your resolve to work out. Having a cold or flu can help pack on unwanted pounds – and the experts say this could have an effect to almost be triplicated.

Monks says that cold weather, with its occasional dark skies and shortened daylight can make many people crave carb-heavy foods. “Seasonal affective disorder is a real thing, and it affects people in ways they don’t even realise,” she says. “There is that tendency to compensate for a blue mood with lots of carb heavy foods, and that in turn can make you gain weight.”

Winter also brings on stress factors such as rising utility bills, and higher food and fuel costs. Stress can have impact on one’s nerves, including an increase in cortisol - commonly known as the stress hormone.

But stress can be busted with a little regular exercise, at least three days weekly, during winter. Keep the metabolism revving up, says Monks, but taking a stroll around the block or doing some sort of cardio indoors.

“On sunny days,” she says, “also try to work in some of that natural sunlight, which is packed with Vitamin D, and is also a real mood enhancer. Even during cooler days, the sun will still have a positive effect on you.”

Monks also stressed the importance of eating well, which means, essentially, to consume plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, low fat dairy, beans and legumes. “Winter veggies are some of the best, healthiest and most satisfying, not to mention, low in fat. You should also make sure to drink plenty of water. If you need warm beverages, go for black coffee or green tea. Green tea is a superfood and has amazing cancer fighting and healing properties,” Monks says.

“If you’re not really into fruits or veggies,” she says, “it’s important to add even just a little bit of them to other foods that you regularly eat, like cereal, pasta or pizza. It’s always better to have some than none, and at least you’ll be getting some nutrition in the deal.”

Lastly, Monks shares how their fitness community can help: “During the winter months, we run a fun weight loss challenge. We started on June, but you can still join. All you need to do is to register and weigh in weekly. Prizes, fitness challenges and tips await you.”

She concludes, “Taking excellent care of yourself this winter is vitally important to how you feel during the eventual warm weather months.”

At Warwick Women’s Workout, our exclusive women’s fitness facility located in Perth, WA, our pro staff are happy to assist with advice on keeping healthy. Contact Michelle Monks and join us in better health. View our web page at http://www.warwickwomensworkout.com.au or contact us at (08) 9342 9028.