7 Ways To Burn More Calories In Winter

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By: Ben Longley

Winter is well and truly upon us now and along with it will usually come the addition of warm comfort foods like pasta, less morning exercise / gym sessions (bed is more comfortable in winter), less incidental outdoor activity and more snacking in front of the TV and the heater. Basically you’re going to eat more calories  and burn less calories.

Needless to say, winter is a time of year where it’s easy to stack on a few kilograms without realizing it. Then when spring comes around we take a reactive approach and frantically try to get back into shape a few short weeks before summer. If we take a PRO-active approach, we can stay on top of things over winter and ‘hit the ground running’ heading into summer. Here’s a few sneaky ways we can burn more calories this winter:


Stick to warm soups and stews instead of pasta

It’s often the over indulgence of those pesky processed carbohydrates which lead to weight gain. We can fulfill our cravings for warm comfort foods by making healthy soups and stews. Pack these meals with lots of veggies and some quality free range meat or poultry. Yum. If you don’t know how to make a good soup or stew, a quick Google search will give you a lot to work with. Take the time to learn, it will be worth it.


Add in more incidental activity to your days

If you know you’re the type to sleep in through the cold winter mornings, just bite the bullet, admit it to yourself and change your exercise schedule to evenings. It might take a bit of getting used to but if your current routine just isn’t going to work, you need to try another plan of attack, there’s no point kidding yourself.

If you don’t have time to add in some more structured exercise into your schedule, get in the habit of sneaking in more incidental activity. Take the stairs instead of the lift, park a 5-10 minute walk away from where you need to be, walk an extra 5-10 minutes to a different eatery to get your lunch (ideally a healthier eatery too!) If you implemented all 3 of those things today that would add up to a lot of extra calories expended over the course of a week.


Do some mini workouts at home

Having the option to exercise at home, with minimal equipment, is extremely handy for those who are short on time and just don’t have the motivation to get dressed, drive to the gym and spend an hour training. There’s plenty of ways to exercise at home with a bit of ‘know how’ and imagination.

Bodyweight squats, push ups, lunges, core stability exercises, skipping, high knee running on the spot, star jumps etc. A 10 minute little circuit of all the above is enough to get that metabolism and heart rate up. You could even do this once in the morning and once in the evening.

Now a lot of this is going to depend on your exercise history and what you’re comfortable implementing on your own, if you’re completely new to exercise, I don’t necessarily recommend this is the best way to start. If you’ve been an ‘exerciser’ for a while now, you’ve have had a personal trainer in the past, done a bootcamp or had a gym membership, then you should have plenty to work with in thinking up some mini home workouts to keep you on track.


Get a gym membership

If the cold, wet weather is going to stop you from sticking to your regular exercise schedule, it might be worth buying a gym membership as a back up. You might prefer to exercise outdoors but it’s certainly better that skipping training altogether.


Hire a personal trainer

If you’re lacking motivation, the weather is interrupting your routine, you hate the idea of joining a commercial gym or you just have no idea what you should be doing, then it might be worth it to hire a personal trainer to cover all your needs.

I’m obviously biased, but if you’re close to St Kilda East then come and see me at my training facility. (Contact details at the bottom of this article). I know this is a cheeky plug for my services, but I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t genuinely think it would help. J


‘Trick’ yourself into exercise

Whenever you’re lacking motivation to exercise, just tell yourself you’re going to do something light today, for even just 10 minutes. The thought of spending 30-60 minutes exercising is a bit too much to swallow sometimes, but a 10 minute commitment of light training is easy.

I guarantee that once you just START, and you get that heart pumping and the lungs breathing, you will end up doing WAY more that you had planned and workout a lot harder than you intended. You’ll likely end up doing the 30-60 minute session you were dreading all along. Whenever I’m lacking motivation to train, I tell myself that I’ll just head into the gym and do something light and easy today, which gets me started, then once I’ve started I always do a lot more than I had planned. This is a good little mind game you can always use on yourself to ‘trick’ yourself into exercise.

Author Ben Longley is the owner of The Fit Stop – a personal training & group training facility in St Kilda East. Ben and his team of trainer’s specialize in helping local residents lose weight, tone up and get fit & healthy. For more information about his services you can visit www.StKildaFitnessTrainer.com.au or you can contact him at ben@bgltraining.com.au




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