Our Hyattsville physical therapists offer some of the most effective strategies to avoid winter weight gain this year
January 9, 2019
Christmas and New Year’s celebrations may be over, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the clear just yet. While the regular parties, abundance of food, and often-unhealthy habits of the holiday season are all frequently associated with gaining weight, it can also be seen as just the start of a difficult few months. The entire season of winter has long been infamous for contributing to weight gain, and if you’re not careful, you may find yourself somewhat heavier than you’d like to be by the arrival of spring. In addition to being aware of this common winter trend, our Hyattsville physical therapists would like to offer you some of the most helpful tips to help you maintain a healthy weight during these colder months of the year.
Although not everyone falls victim to winter weight gain, surveys have suggested that people tend to gain an average of 5-7 pounds from the end of December until the end of March. There are a number of factors at work that increase the chances to putting on a few pounds during this time, some of which are out of our control.
With shorter days and the sun setting so early, many people tend to sleep more than usual, and sleepiness can reduce motivation levels to get physically active. Further decreasing motivation levels can be the colder weather itself, as it might not seem very tempting to get outside and run five miles on blistering sub-freezing days. As a result, those who fail to adapt their fitness routine to winter may find themselves making excuses and exercising less than they do in warmer months.
Seasonal affective disorder and other mood issues, wearing lots of clothing (which could mean being less aware of bodyweight), and an increase in alcohol consumption for some individuals may also contribute to weight gain during these frigid months. Regardless of the reasons behind it, there’s no denying the bothersome nature of letting ourselves slip up during this time. But the good news is that by taking charge of your habits and having a game plan, you can fend off the extra pounds and emerge from winter with a healthy weight by adhering to the following tips from our Hyattsville physical therapists:
- Adapt your exercise routine: create a new, realistic exercise regimen for the colder months—which may include a combination of exercise at home, in the gym, and outdoors—and prioritize sticking with it
- Cook at home: take advantage of all your time at home by cooking more meals, which allows you to be more in control of what you’re eating and ensure that the meals are healthy
- Weigh yourself daily: since you may not be seeing yourself without clothing all that frequently, a daily weigh-in will help you monitor your weight fluctuations
- Moderate alcohol intake: if you tend to overdo it this time of year, try to establish a specific plan for regulating and moderating the amount of alcohol you consume
- Watch the high-sugar and high-carb treats: winter is often associated with hot sugary drinks and comfort foods that are usually high in carbs, so be aware of your intake and try to limit over-consumption
There are many features of winter that can make it a truly enjoyable season, but you shouldn’t let its slow pace get the better of you and make you feel guilty for indulging too much. Approach the next few months with a clear sense of how to handle yourself and you’ll thank yourself once the warm weather returns. And if you’re dealing with any aches or pains, our Hyattsville physical therapists can help. Contact CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Hyattsville, Laurel, Glenn Dale/Bowie, or our newest location in Silver Spring, MD, or you can click here for more information on avoiding winter weight gain.