All the winter health moves

2010-05-28 14:34

The chilly weather makes you want to stay indoors under warm blankets with lots of hot chocolate, but all that lying around on the couch leads to one thing – getting out of shape during winter.

“We want to feel warm so we comfort ourselves with

indulgent eating

and move less,” says Elizabeth ­Kullmann, a registered dietician and



Kullmann says the extra kilos ­become hidden and forgotten about

­until spring pops up. This year why not prevent the mad spring gym dash by

maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout winter.

Wendy Goldstein, a registered veteran dietician, says eating foods

in moderation helps keep extra weight at bay. “If you want to change your body

shape permanently, the only way is through a combination of sensible eating and

­exercise.” The concept of crash dieting, ­according to Goldstein, is unhealthy.

“All starches, proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy and even fats have a place in

our everyday diets if they are eaten in a balanced way.”

Excellent Tshabalala, fitness manager at Virgin Active, admits that

people slack off when it’s cold.

“The number of people who come to the gym drops during winter, but this doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at

home,” he says. General practitioner Alta Withers concurs but cautions that

people should always consult their doctors ­before taking on training.

“Exercise is important to improve ­energy levels, prevent winter blues and helps you maintain a healthy immune

system,” says Withers.

Tshabalala and Withers both agree that exercise is vital for

cardiovascular health and maintaining bone


Alvis Shuro, a personal trainer at Planet Fitness, says people

simply lack the motivation to stay in shape due to the cold. “A lot of people

want to be in shape when it’s hot to show off their sexy bodies, but winter forces them to cover up,” says Shuro, adding that

the trick to sticking to your training regime is to enjoy it and keep in mind

the health benefits you will reap.

Clearly, from what the experts are saying, the only way to beat the

­“winter fat” is to eat healthy, put on your

tracksuit and get moving.

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