Don’t Hibernate This Winter—Stay Active & Fit!

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Staying focused in the colder weather can be difficult, but remember to stay focused.
Staying focused in the colder weather can be difficult, but remember to stay focused.

Just because you have an itch doesn’t mean you have to scratch it and just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean you lose focus on your fitness goals. The cooler months of the year are beginning to arrive. Mornings and evenings are no longer as bright as they once were, and they’re certainly not as warm and inviting.

For many of us, this may mean passing on the A.M. or P.M. workout session and reverting to a more or sedentary lifestyle – even though you’d prefer to stay active, fit, and healthy! And, on top of this, ‘tis the season for excessive amounts of tempting and tasty food.

You can stay active, fit, and healthy in the winter months as well as stay on track healthy lifestyle and fitness goals! Likewise, you don’t have to derail your hard-earned progress through seasonal food temptations. Here are some tips to safeguard your fitness goals and diet during the winter months.

• Discover winter activities
• Workout at home
• Consider a class
• Plan ahead
• Share your intentions

Discover (or re-discover) winter activities
Cross country skiing, hiking, snowboarding, skating, building colossal snowmen, and engaging in an all-out snowball fight with friends are all calorie-burning and entertaining winter-activities that can keep you active while having fun. More importantly, they will allow you to stay active, fit, and healthy during the winter months and allow you to potentially engage in a new activity! Moreover, they’re great to do with others and fun. Push yourself to find creative ways to get outside, embrace the seasonal weather, and stay active.

Workout at home
This is great way to stay on track with your fitness goals. There a plethora of at-home workouts you can engage in – get creative! If you don’t have free-weights or resistance bands you can select from a plethora of bodyweight exercises, or use heavier objects in your house such as reusable grocery bags filled with books or gallons of water. Alternatively, you can look into investing in resistance bands, or finding cheap free-weights at garage sales.

More often, however, individuals will fail to engage in adequate amounts of cardiovascular activity during the winter months. Fear not, because I have suggestions to help you stay on track! Consider using HIIT (high intensity interval training) for you cardiovascular workout. It will not only save you time, but also assist in burning more fat, improving blood glucose levels, and bolster your metabolism! Sure it may be exhausting, but it is more efficient, effective, and saves on time compared to traditional cardiovascular routines. Don’t know how to do an at-home HIIT workout? Try this!

o Warm-up with stretching and some walking or jogging in place.
o Jog in place (~1 minute)
o Speed jumping jacks (for approximately 20-40 seconds)
o Jog in place (~1 minute)
o Burpees (for approximately 20-40 seconds)
o Jog in place (~1 minute)
o Speed shadow boxing (for approximately 20-40 seconds)
o Jog in place (~1 minute)
o Mountain climbers (for approximately 20-40 seconds)
o Jog in place (~1 minute)
o Speed body squat jump (for approximately 20-40 seconds)
o Repeat circuit 2 – 4 more times

***HIIT is very difficult and will vary significantly dependent upon the person. No your limits and push them, but don’t hurt yourself. This exercise routine should be difficult so make sure to push yourself during the 20 – 40 second speed portions.

This is an excellent way to stay active indoors. I enjoy doing routines like this in the winter months or while I’m traveling!

Consider a class
Enrolling in a class is not essential, but can be an effective for many people to stay on track. Additionally, it fosters community-building, relationships, and develops a sense of camaraderie. Sometimes people are more motivated in groups, or never miss a class if they are paying for it. Am I describing you? If so, then consider joining a class – it may be JUST what you need!

Plan ahead
This is vital. I highly encourage that after you set your winter-time goals and prioritize them, you use a planning tool (e.g. planner – hard copy or digital). Begin by filling your week with the highest priorities and fill in accordingly. When will you schedule your activities? Where will they be? Are you going to eat the tempting unhealthy holiday favorites? If so, plan to do it in moderation. And don’t forget, there are a variety of healthy seasonal alternatives such as soups, stews, and even pumpkin pies. It’s shocking how much more successful you will be regarding your goals if you plan them into your routine! And lastly, don’t sweat it too much if you get side-tracked from your plan – it happens! Just make sure that to get back on track and stay positive!

Share your intentions with others or partner-up
Share your fitness goals and diet intentions with others. This makes you feel more accountable, encourages you to stay on task, and allows others to better understand where you are coming from and help support you on your endeavor. Transparency is a crucial component that is far too often overlooked and undervalued. You can also buddy-up. Having a partner encourages that same type of accountability and can generate a more enjoyable environment. It’s always helpful to have someone there to encourage and motivate you as well. So give it a try. Share your intentions with others, or find a partner!

You can find Zane at:

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Zane was a skinny 120 lb. guy that dropped out of college, had severe hypoglycemia, and was on the fast track toward diabetes. It took some tough decisions, a lot of hard work, and support from my friends and family to turn my life around. Now, I want to help others do the same-- find their potential and achieve their goals!
Zane Hadzick is on a mission to motivate and inspire others in their fitness and personal aspirations. has helped him be successful in his personal/professional life as well as his academic and fitness career – and now he wants to give back!