The clocks going back and the days getting darker is often a trigger for many of us to start eating and drinking more and working out less – especially in 2021, as we make up for all the Christmas parties we missed out on last year.
Indulging every now and again is fine but it can be a slippery slope as we head into winter. Even as I type, a sharing bag of very popular cheese tortilla crisps is staring at me, and my body aches for them. To avoid slipping into bad habits, it’s important to have an action plan in place to help you maintain the level of fitness you likely achieved in the summer.
One way I’m going to keep active during the tough winter is by using the to track important body data and improve my wellness routines. Combining this with a vitamin rich diet will be how I prevent my health from going into the red – here’s how you can too.
Practising steady cardio
suggests that just 15 minutes of cardio a day can increase life expectancy by up to three years, and cut risk of death by 14%. So, even if you despise running, these are attractive enough reasons to pound the pavement post-strength session – another being that it will help reduce your body fat percentage when combined with a healthy diet.
Not an expert runner? Same. I see it as a necessary evil, which is why I’ve been using the as my running companion (which features a 14 day battery life for those long distance runners). It has a series of running courses and training plans to help keep you motivated, and even tells you when to control your breathing if your heart rate is too fast – a great feature for novices who may not know how to run comfortably and effectively, and perfect for winter when breathing in the cold air can make things more strained.
It also boasts the Running Ability Index (RAI), which uses historical running heart rate, pace and other data to analyse your running performance after each of your cardio sessions. Incredibly handy for any data heads out there looking to progress quickly.
If running still isn’t your thing, it also tracks 100+ other workouts, including gym cardio equipment such as cross trainers and rowers (my personal favourite), as well as more extreme sports like snowboarding and open water swimming.
Switching to home workouts
Early morning gym sessions become a lot harder when you look out your window at 7am and it’s still pitch black.
I’ve been exercising at home for a few weeks now and will continue to do so over winter. With a new baby in tow, it’s hard for me to factor in a heavy gym session – I’m reluctant to travel too far in case of any major meltdowns she might decide to have in my absence.
My balcony workout equipment consists of a 20kg weighted vest, 16kg kettlebell, two 12kg dumbbells and a pull-up bar. Sure, I might have to focus more on intensity rather than volume with the lower weights, but I can still accomplish most of the exercises I enjoyed in the gym: front squats, lat raises, pull-ups, devil presses, skull crushers et al. Once you combine a few of these into supersets and get a real workout going, you’ll soon forget all about the sweet smell of strangers sweating next to you.
The WATCH GT 3 watch can also assist in tracking your home workouts, as well as cardio output. It can track calories burned and has a barometer-style gauge that shows your workout intensity, which goes from warm-up to anaerobic to extreme by assessing your movement and heart rate, no matter how fast you’re going.
Maintaining my vitamin D levels
Vitamin D helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and teeth, as it assists in the regulation of calcium and phosphate in the body. The recommends everyone take vitamin D during the winter months, when it’s in short supply due to the lack of sunlight and time spent outside.
There are many ways you can get more vitamin D into your life, the main one being through diet. My go-to is oily fish such as salmon (which I grill and have with vegetable rice) and sardines (perfect as a guilt-free pizza topping), but red meat, egg yolks and milk are also good sources. For you vegans out there, mushrooms and fortified milk alternatives and cereals can be a good source of vitamin D, as well as supplements that can be found in most good health shops.
Tracking my rest and stress
You could guess how your health is doing – or you could get an accurate analysis. The HUAWEI WATCH GT 3 allows me to track just about everything I could want when it comes to my wellbeing in winter. Through personalised settings, I receive regular reminders to complete health challenges, such as drinking 1.5 litres of water a day or taking time out to practise mindfulness – which I’m notorious for forgetting when I’m trying to hit deadlines.
The watch also keeps track of my zzzs, which has helped me form a more efficient sleep routine – something that has been very useful with a new baby. Another relaxing feature I’ve enjoyed is the stress test, which gives me a reading on whether I’m relaxed or anxious (technical support provided by China’s Institute of Psychology), a helpful function for days when I’m burning the candle at both ends.
Support your health and fitness this winter with the
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