Health

FitOn’s Winter Wellness Guide

Maintain motivation and beat the winter blues.

By: Lexy Parsons

With the holiday season in full swing, now is the time to prioritize winter wellness and stay on track with your goals. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for letting loose and enjoying the holiday season, but by the time January comes around, we’re ready to kickstart the new year with fresh new goals! But we also get that it can be hard to stay motivated this time of year. Good news — our Winter Wellness Guide is here to help you find a healthy balance. 

Ahead, we’re sharing comforting seasonal eats, how to enjoy healthy seasonal treats, cold-weather fitness motivation, and of course, tips on how to reduce stress during the busiest time of the year. With a little planning and mindfulness, Winter may just be your healthiest season yet.

Seasonal Eats, Warming Winter Treats, & Immune Support

The winter season is all about grounding down with nourishing seasonal foods, boosting your immunity to keep you healthy through the cold winter months, and of course, indulging in tasty (but healthy) treats through the holiday season and beyond!

Seasonal Winter Foods 

Seasonal eating supports local farmers and reduces your carbon footprint. And, by eating local and seasonal, oftentimes your food is both cheaper and nutritious! Add these yummy winter foods to your grocery list:

Citrus Fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit

Other Fruits: Pineapples, pears, apples, bananas, kiwi, avocado

Greens: Swiss chard, kale, herbs, collard greens, brussels sprouts, celery

Root & Cruciferous Veggies: Turnips, parsnips, beets, onions, carrots, cabbage

Pumpkin, Potatoes, & Squash: Winter squash, sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes

Build Your Defenses: Keep Immunity Strong 

With shorter, darker days and less exposure to sunlight, there’s a good chance you’re deficient in Vitamin D, the sunshine hormone. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is especially important during the winter — cold and flu — season. Speak with your doctor about taking a Vitamin D3 supplement and consider loading up your diet with Vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms, egg yolks, and salmon. 

And, if you really want to maintain good health, try adding some other superfoods to your diet like manuka honey and bone broth.  

Here are some of our favorite whole-food-based immune-supporting foods

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Citrus

Healthy Winter Sweet Tooth Swaps 

Let’s face it, the winter season is filled with tempting treats. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and Valentine’s Day, there’s sugar everywhere this time of year. The good news is that by swapping some of the not-so-healthy ingredients for more nutritious alternatives, you can indulge without guilt. 

Try these healthy sweet tooth swaps:

  • Banana nice cream vs. Dairy-based ice cream
  • Natural Sugar (from maple syrup, dates, or honey) vs. Refined sugar
  • Greek Yogurt vs. Heavy cream, sour cream, or cream cheese
  • Nut Milk (such as oat, cashew, or coconut) vs. Dairy-based creamer

And if you’re a Starbucks lover, this goes for your favorite holiday drinks, too! Find out how to make healthy swaps and learn the sweetest way to fill your Starbucks red cup without all the added sugar.

Winter Workouts: Stay Active & Motivated Despite Cold Weather

Mustering up the motivation to move when it’s dark and cold isn’t always easy. So if you’re feeling uninspired, you’re not alone! Luckily we’ve got some cold-weather workout tips to help you stay committed to your fitness goals, even in the rough of winter. 

Stretch It Out To Prevent Injuries & Tight Muscles 

Try kicking off your morning routine with a simple yoga flow or winding down the day with a calming stretch. In addition to stretching your muscles, yoga provides the added benefit of grounding down and connecting with our breath, which can be especially beneficial during this chilly season.

Even if we’re moving less during winter, stretching is just as important — cold weather can cause tight muscles and increase the risk of injury. Luckily, stretching it out with a yoga routine can do wonders for your body — and your brain! According to countless research studies, yoga helps regulate the stress response by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting energy and confidence.

Consider adding some FitOn yoga flows to your Winter wellness routine this season!

Maintain Motivation with Indoor Workouts 

Don’t let a little cold weather stand between you and your fitness goals! If the weather is preventing you from moving outdoors, get moving with an indoor workout. Open up the FitOn app and press play on a workout that you can do from the comfort of your very own home!

Prioritize Mindful Movement Throughout the Day

When it’s raining, snowing, or downright cold, it can be tempting to curl up on the couch with a blanket and post up for the day. But prioritizing mindful movement throughout the day makes a difference — a big difference — especially during the winter months when we’re moving less! 

Here are some ideas:

  • Park further away from your destination
  • Do your holiday shopping in person instead of ordering online 
  • Walk your dog an extra loop around the block 
  • Take a stroll to get your coffee instead of driving
  • Get active with winter activities like hiking, snowboarding, or skiing 
  • Think of winter chores (like shoveling snow) as an opportunity for exercise 

Winter Wellness: Self-Care, Stress Management, & Beating the Winter Blues

Think of the winter season as a time to recharge both your mental and physical energy. Use this time to fill up your cup! Try to prioritize self-care, maintain sleep hygiene with a healthy evening routine, and beat the winter blues with stress-management techniques like meditation and journaling.

Prioritize Your Well-Being with Winter Self-Care

Self-care can sound like some mythical luxury that *must be nice* but in reality, self-care is very much a necessity. Just as it sounds, self-care is simply taking care of YOU! 

Here are some ways to sneak in some extra you time:

Set aside 10-minutes of quiet time for just you and your thoughts. Try a solo outdoor walk or wake up 10 minutes before everyone else! 

Pick up a new hobby or skill. When you’re planning out your goals for the new year, is there anything you’ve always wanted to try or make time for? Well, now is the time!

Spend uninterrupted time with loved ones. Sign out of work early, power down your devices, and embrace the benefits of connection and love.

Make a new yummy winter recipe. Using the above tips on seasonal winter foods, have fun in the kitchen and whip up a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try like a warming winter soup.

Try on skincare as self-care. Beyond face masks and spa days (but add those to the list, too) try developing a minimalistic daily skin care practice. And as you moisturize and nourish your skin, why not make it a self-care vibe — light a candle, play some calming music, and diffuse an aromatherapy blend! A little extra TLC goes a long way.

Mood-Boosting Hacks to Beat the Winter Blues

The winter blues isn’t *all in your head* — it’s actually a real mental health condition known as SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which has been shown to directly impact mood, energy, and mindset. So if you’re feeling a little down, take steps to boost your mood and mental health. And, if you think you may be dealing with SAD, reach out to your doctor or health care provider. There’s support available! 

Boost your mood with gratitude and positive affirmations. Shifting your mindset to a positive way of thinking has been shown to have major benefits on mental health! Take a few moments to reflect on something you’re grateful for and build yourself up with a compliment. Maybe even write it down on a sticky note and post it on your mirror!  

Load up your diet with mood-boosting foods. Foods like berries, salmon, oats, and cacao pack some serious mood and health benefits! Not to mention the fact that a wholesome and balanced diet is key for balancing blood sugar. With balanced blood sugar, you’ll be less likely to feel hangry throughout the day! 

Try Red Light Therapy: With shorter and darker days, red light therapy may be a welcome addition to your wellness routine this winter season. Some studies have shown that red light therapy may have a positive effect on those with SAD. 

Related: The Best New Ways To Boost Your Mental Health

Wind Down & Rest Up: Winter Sleep Care

It’s no shock that we live in a fast-paced society. Use the shorter, dark winter days to your advantage by slowing down, resting up, and prioritizing your sleep routine!

Try these sleep-supporting tips:

  • Avoid blue light at least one to two hours before bed, and power down your electronics!
  • Cozy up to a comforting cup of sleep-supporting herbal tea like lavender or chamomile. 
  • Try a sleep meditation, like this FitOn meditation with DeAndre. 
  • Take a warm bath infused with a few drops of lavender essential oil to get you in a sleepy state. 
  • If you have the midnight munchies, reach for a sleep-supporting snack like tart cherry juice or almonds.

Recommit To Your Health this Winter

Recommit to your goals with a little inspiration from our Winter Wellness Guide. If you’re feeling less than motivated this season, that’s totally normal. Try not to judge yourself! Instead, start small by choosing one area to focus on. Maybe you start with nutrition and add some nourishing winter wellness foods to your diet, maybe you get your sleep in check with a new bedtime routine, or maybe you commit to adding more movement into your day. Once you achieve those goals, continue building with additional healthy lifestyle changes! Before you know it, you’ll be crushing the winter season and looking in the mirror at a healthier, more balanced you.