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Aliyah Garcia

Lincoln East High School student Aliyah Garcia positions her hands and readies herself for a few reps on the bench press. Especially in winter months, it’s important to stay fit, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy.

The winter season is upon us, and it can be a busy and exciting time. With so many events like family dinners and holiday parties, we have plenty of distractions to keep us from focusing on our health and taking care of ourselves as we normally would. Then, once the holiday season is over, many people experience a drop in their motivation to stay active. Some may even experience depression or stress over expenses that accumulated through the holidays. Others let diet and healthy eating habits fall by the wayside. Often, given the weather, exercise is sacrificed for warm nights spent indoors relaxing.

The shorter days and colder weather can make it hard to find the motivation to stay healthy and fit. Recognizing these trends and potential illnesses ahead of time is key to preventing them. Countless winter wellness tips and ideas are available to ensure you have ways to stay healthy, fit and safe this holiday season. These healthy winter habits will help you recognize where your health falls short and what you can do to boost it during this time of year.

The biggest risk to our overall health is a lack of attention to diet and exercise routines. The cold and unpleasant weather can also make it difficult to find the motivation to get to the gym or head outdoors for exercise. Also, with more time spent indoors, many of us snack more than we would typically at other times of the year. This combination can quickly add on pounds and reduce our mood and self-esteem over time.

Maintaining your proper diet and exercise routines is also necessary to ward off illness. Wintertime presents a higher likelihood to develop cold and flu than during any other season. That’s why it’s important to stay fit, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy.

Here are a few tips to help you stay on track this winter season:

• Eat a protein-packed breakfast to curb your appetite during the day.

• Eat more fiber-enriched foods including more vegetables.

• Plan your workouts a week in advance, taking into account your busy schedule. Plan those workouts with a friend or co-worker.

• Use a fitness tracker and/or diet and fitness app on your phone for motivation.

• Always drink plenty of water. The colder weather takes our focus off of this important healthy habit.

Many of these tips are easy to implement in your daily routine if you add them in slowly. And assessing your own health and well-being during the winter will help you find your own areas for improvement.

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