How to keep up your healthy summer habits in winter

Winter is coming - at the time of writing it's only two days away which is surprising at best and depressing at worst.

For many of us, the colder months are when healthy habits we've only just managed to nail over summer fall by the wayside, and we welcome excess pasta/red wine/ movie nights with open arms.

But with some small tweaks, you can keep up some of those habits, keeping you well over winter and meaning you're not starting from scratch when spring rolls back around.

Here are some of our tips for keeping up three major keys to health:

Drinking healthy summer smoothies

 

Hot muggy days in summer often saps your appetite, and leaves you craving fresh healthy liquids that both hydrate and give a dose of nutrition. A morning smoothie is an everyday habit for me in summer, and means I've sipped down at least five fruit and vegetables before I even get to work.

But when it's blustery and cold outside the last thing you feel like doing is chucking ice and frozen berries in a blender. Lately the colder mornings mean I've been making warm smoothies in my Breville Super Q; which sound gross, taste delicious.

Warm up with recipes like this hot cinnamon apple smoothie  or warming chai tea smoothies.  You may not love the idea of warm spinach, but the naturally sweet fruits, creamy coconut milk, and trio of spices in this recipe will mask it well.

If you count on your green smoothies -turn them into a green soup instead and save it for lunch. My blender has a soup function which warms as it blends, but a classic Nutribullet/stove combo will work as well.  This recipe from Chelsea Winter has 12 different vegetables in it: probably excessive but no doubt effective. 

Exercise

 

It can be tough to keep up that fitness regime in winter: pounding the pavement becomes less appealing than snuggling up on the couch with a glass of red. But keeping fitness up is important even if you're showing less skin than in the warmer months, as it keeps your immune system firing to ward off winter chills.

Even if it's tough to get out of bed, exercising first thing in the morning means you won't be dreading it all day - and leaving work in the dark is tough at the best of times. If you're bored of the gym or your normal routine, check out this list of ways to switch things up. 

Good news: Exercising in the cold burns fat quicker than more comfortable temperatures, because deposits of so "brown fat" are activated as the body learns to get warmer, faster. So winter might even be better for weight management than those jogs in more pleasant weather.

Socialise

 

Nightly beers, barbeques and catch-ups mean summer is a key for socialising, but often we let those connection drop off during the colder months. When it gets dark at 5pm we're far less likely to suggest a beer and barbeque in the garden, and far more likely to go curl up with a personal pizza.

But scientists say keeping those personal connections is just as important over winter, to avoid developing what I like to call, very scientifically, "the winter blues".

Make time to hang with friends, to ward off the winter blues.
Make time to hang with friends, to ward off the winter blues. Photo credit: Getty.

Professor Greg Murray from Swinburne University of Technology told The Daily Telegraph it's important to keep those social occasions firing to give you something to look forward to (not to the extent where it tires you out, of course).

"Plan social events while you've still got the energy in May each year and slot in some social events you can't get out of. Like buying tickets to a footy match or planning a dinner party well in advance," he says.

Newshub.

 

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