Stay Healthy as Seasons Change

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What’s the secret to staying healthy throughout the year? The secret lies in our ability to be flexible and willing to change…just like the seasons.

Different seasons mean different weather, wardrobes, different seasonal fruits available and even different sports to play. It also means that as the days grow shorter or longer, and as the weather gets warmer or colder, we need to stay flexible and adjust our eating habits, exercise routines and lifestyles so we can remain healthy year round. So how do you do that? By starting each season with a customized lifestyle plan around your specific needs, goals, and preferences.

For example, it’s easiest for most of us to live a healthier lifestyle during the spring and summer. We’re showing a little more skin so we’re more aware of our eating habits, we may have access to more fresh fruits and vegetables, the days are longer and more conducive to being active and outside. During nicer weather, we’re also getting more vitamin D from the sun, which offers so many additional health benefits as well. For many of us, it’s pretty simple to live healthier during this time of year. But what can you do to keep the momentum going during the colder months?

It may take some extra planning, but it’s during these fall and winter months that you may consider trying a winter sport or finding a fitness routine that’s fun but indoors. For example, would a gym membership work for you? Does it have the services and classes you like and do they have hours that work for you? Is it convenient and does a gym motivate you…or intimidate you?

If a gym membership isn’t the answer, you can set up a home gym based on your needs and budget. It can be as elaborate as a separate room with commercial quality gym equipment or as simple as a jump rope, mat and a few weights. How about fitness DVD’s, finding a fitness buddy, hiring a personal trainer or finding a routine you like on your local fitness channel? What about getting the right music to power you through a workout? These are all questions to consider to keep you working out all year.

The colder months also encourage us to cover ourselves more and often lead to more snacking along with heartier (and more fattening) comfort foods. As the seasons change, it’s important to rethink your eating habits as well to avoid packing on winter weight. Maybe a non-negotiable rule would help, like: “No eating while standing up,” “No seconds,” “Leave over 1/3 of dinner,” or “No eating off of anyone else’s plate” would work for you.

As the seasons change, lasting success occurs when you change, too. That’s why it’s important to stay as flexible and willing to try something new in order to stay healthy from one season – and one year – to the next.

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    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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    Dr. Rav Ivker
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February 2023