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Monday, December 6, 2010

Roland’s Suggestions for How to Stay Fit During the Holidays and the Wintertime

This article in the Baltimore Sun titled, “Holiday Fitness? Piece of Cake”, that was printed on Thu, 02 Dec 2010, inspired me to offer my suggestions on staying fit during the winter months. The article has some great suggestions like walking a lot at the mall and using the stairs, make snow angels in the snow, shovel snow, walking around a Christmas tree farm and cutting the tree down, going up and down the ladder to string Christmas tree lights, go on walks with family and friends after dinner to see the neighborhood decorations, and play fitness video games. The article also suggest some yoga moves while shopping which I don't think are entirely practical, but if you are game go for it.

Since I have so much energy, I look for ways to get extra exercise in all of my activities at all times of the year. The wintertime can be particularly challenging to exercise since it is often cold, rainy, snowy, and windy outside, and not everyone wants to join a gym. So, here is a list of some of my suggestions for healthy exercise during winter:

Walk as much as you can, whether you walk in the woods, at a park, in the city, at a mall, around your neighborhood, all are great, and walking everyday is best. Walking is a great low impact exercise that will get your heart rate up, especially when one walks long and fast. Walking consistently will do wonders to keep one fit during the holidays.
Skip the elevator and escalator and take the stairs wherever you can. All buildings have stairways, it just may take a bit of sleuthing to find them sometimes. Your body will benefit from this wonderful cardiovascular workout. If you have time and energy, try going up and down the stairs multiple times to increase your workout.
When there are warm and sunny days, say above 50 degrees F, and little to no wind, take a bicycle ride through the neighborhood or go to your favorite bicycle trail on the weekend. Dress warmly with extra layers and special bicycle winter clothing if you have it.
Another activity that is great on those warm and sunny winter days is to do some garden work. I like to prune shrubs and trees during the winter since it is the best time to see the branch structure and using a saw is a great exercise. Be careful with the hand pruners so as to not overwork your hand or wrist. I recommend leaving the leaves on the ground as they are a wonderful for beds and lawns since they add nutrients for the soil and food for earthworms. Contrary to what some people think, leaves won't harm lawn. Run over the leaves with a lawn mower to break the leaves into smaller pieces if you want. Fall is a good time to plant flower bulbs, too. I prefer to perform garden cleanup (cutting down the herbaceous plants and mulching) in late winter, say mid to late Feb, so as to have cleanup finished before the bulbs and early plants start to shoot up out of the earth in the spring.
If it is raining or snowing outside and you are stuck inside, try going to the mall to go for a walk and use the stairs there. If you are stuck at home, do yoga, push ups, sit ups, walk up and down the stairs, walk up and down a chair, water your indoor plants, play fitness video games, or create an exercise room in the house where you can setup exercise equipment, play table tennis, foosball, a rebounder, or kick or throw a ball around.
Join a gym or even better, become a member of a local lap swimming pool. Swimming laps at the pool is possible during the winter at an indoor swimming pool and is a great low impact workout.
Eating a healthier diet of vegan, rawfoods will keep one's weight down and one in better physical condition than eating a standard American diet. Vegan, rawfoods are naturally low in calories and have the highest amount of nutrition to keep all your cells healthy. Green smoothies and vegetable soups are great for giving your body adequate nutrition and staying hydrated during the dry winter months.
If you are looking for rawfoods to help your fitness or workout regimen, in addition to the rawfood diet mentioned above, there are several products that offer additional benefits. Sun Warrior Protein provides the highest non soy, raw, vegan, whole grain, sprouted protein on the market. Sun Warrior Activated Barley provides sustained energy and controls hunger during prolonged workouts. I also recommend Sequel Naturals whole line of Vega products that were designed for vegan athletes in mind by vegan triathlete, Brendan Brazier. Their fitness oriented products include Vega Antioxidant EFA Oil Blend, Vega Whole Food Energy Bar, MacaSure Certified Organic Maca Root Extract, Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer, Vega Sport Performance Optimizer, Vega Whole Food Shake & GO Smoothie, and Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.
For weight loss, in addition to following a rawfood diet, the Golden Spice Elixir is great for increasing the power and speed of the body's waste removal.
For the ultimate weight loss method, try water fasting or the juice diet at a retreat center or your home. A water fast is when one consumes only pure water, rests, and lets the body detoxify naturally for three days and longer, up to three weeks. A juice or smoothie diet is where one consumes only freshly made organic fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies as a way of letting the body detoxify. Both of these methods lets the body detoxify quicker than it would normally since it is not spending a lot of energy on digestion as it normally would, and we are letting our bodies rest. The advantage of a water fast is that it will detoxify one faster and more deeply. Taking a vacation and not working during this time is best. Those who do a fast or juice diet are revitalized in body and more energy when finished. There are specialized retreat centers around the US and internationally that do water fasts and juice diets.



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