How to Hit Your Fitness Goals in the Dead of Winter

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Eat less than you burn or burn more than you eat.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, something to keep in mind while trying to bring your fitness level – one of Oola’s seven key areas of life – into balance. And unless you’re the OolaGuru, living where temperatures average around the mid-60′s in the dead of winter, you’re facing some seasonal challenges, especially this winter. When the mercury dips into single-digits, you probably feel like cocooning in front of a roaring fire with a big pot of comfort food simmering in the kitchen.

It’s great for your mental health – that’s half the battle – and with a few tweaks, it can keep you on the path to an OolaLife and leave you feeling healthy enough to fully enjoy all that brings. Remember, as Melissa Cairns did on her journey to a 139-pound weight loss when she was tempted to give up, “I’m better than this. I deserve more than this. And this changes today!”

We’re not talking about scanning the late-night infomercials for the latest Thigh Master or miracle drug. There is no easy out; it’s all about balancing the food you put in your mouth and the calories you burn off. Here’s how to keep that fire burning through the winter:

Embrace the outdoors… wisely. First check the weather report, staying indoors if temperatures fall below zero, the wind chill is extreme or, unless you have waterproof gear, it’s snowing. If you’re good to go, dress in layers, a thin layer of synthetic fabric that draws sweat away from your body, fleece or wool for warmth, and then a breathable outer layer. Adjust as you feel out your own tolerance. Keep in mind that your body focuses on pumping warm blood to its core, so protect your extremities with heavy socks, thin wicking gloves under your mittens, and a good hat that covers your ears and, if really cold, your face as well. And know when to stop! If something doesn’t feel right, head home.

• Change up your routine. A walk around the block is invigorating and if conditions are right for a quick run, that’s great. Or you could try something new, heading to your favorite park for a little cross-country skiing, or hit the slopes. When’s the last time you strapped on a pair of ice skates and played some pond hockey? Turn it into a family affair, preparing well for the cold and packing along some bottles of water and healthy snacks to keep your body stoked.

• And about that comfort food… it’s not just your imagination; cooler temperatures increase your appetite. It is your body’s way of getting warm; 30 to 60 minutes after eating, your body generates 10 percent more heat. The trick is finding ways to make your typical go-to recipes a little healthier, such as this tasty update on macaroni and cheese. Try substituting evaporated skim milk for the heavy cream in your pasta recipes, and a leaner red meat, such as bison, for your steaks or burgers. Coat your chicken with seasoned panko and bake it for a healthier version of fried chicken, and try ground turkey and seasoned breadcrumbs for a tasty meatloaf. There’s nothing like a vegetable-packed chili or soup simmering the slow cooker to take the chill of a winter day.

Curious if your life is balanced? Find out with a quick and easy FREE LIFE BALANCE TEST below.

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