I’m sure you have all heard of the phrase “summer body” and it’s connotation of fitness and physical appeal. I really cringe at that phrase because it makes it sound like wellness is a seasonal concept and is okay to abandon once summer is over.
For some reason, we have associated winter with the season of harboring extra weight. Now hear me out, I am not saying there is anything wrong with carrying a little extra weight, because as humans, our bodies fluctuate as a part of life. What I am saying is that we believe that the holiday cookies and meals are to blame for our weight gain during the winter and that isn’t necessarily true. Yes, we have our sweet treats like Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, apple cider, and more. Yes, we have feasts like Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with decadent food, but those are one day events that are not going to really do any long term damage. In my opinion, summertime can be just as indulgent as winter with things like ice-cream, burgers and hotdogs at cookouts, fried food at state fairs, beer and brats at ballgames, apple pie for the 4th of July, and the list goes on. If we are looking at things from a nutritional standpoint, there isn’t a clear winner or loser between seasons for which foods are better or worse for you.
The reason we are more prone to gain weight during the winter is, in my opinion, inactivity and boredom. During the summer, people are frequently riding their bikes, going on walks, swimming in the pool or lake, playing sports outdoors, and so on. In the winter, we are less likely to go outside and move around because it is freezing and we are trapped by feet of snow or ice. I can’t even imagine going on a run outside when the sidewalks are frozen with slick ice and when I am so cold, all I can do is shiver. The inconsistency we experience in our activity levels between seasons is what is doing us in.
So, how do we fix that? It might seem like there is no way to be active during the winter months, but that is so far from the truth. Yes, we probably aren’t going to work out outside, but that is what gyms are for. They provide us all of the equipment we need to stay fit, in one location and are as cheap as $10 a month depending on the facility. That’s less than I spend on coffee each week. We also don’t even need a gym. Practices like yoga, pilates, calisthenics, and more are something we can do from the comfort of our own home. So, how do we maintain our summer curves? We maintain consistent with working out and choosing healthy foods, just like we would do in the summer. There is no magic answer. There is just consistency.