10 Fabulous Fitness Tips for when it’s Damned cold outside!

Sixteeen degrees BELOW ZERO this morning!

Fortunately, there isn’t much wind and the forecast is for plenty of sunshine. But still. It’s damned cold out there!

So, what’s a Minnesotan to do when we’re looking up at zero for a few days?

Well, as it turns out lots!

Check it out: My top 10 things to do when it’s nothing short of damned cold outside.
  1. Defrost your freezer. Box or bag up all of your freezer items and move  them to the garage, deck, patio, or your car. They will stay plenty frozen for the 12 or 15 hours it might take to defrost your freezer. Hopefully, you’ll need to take a flight of stairs or two in the process to burn a few calories! And while you’re at it, thaw out and prepare at least one of the items you bought because it’s good for you, but you just haven’t gotten around to preparing. We all have them, and you know what I’m talking about: liver, frozen brussels sprouts … that bison steak. Also, check the expiration dates on anything pre packaged. If it’s expired, just throw it out!
  2. Drink. And drink a bunch … of water! Temps this cold reduce humidity levels indoors and out. Heating systems dry it out even more! And because of the cold, most of us don’t seem thirsty, so we tend to hydrate less. Got a slight headache? Maybe you’re dehydrated. Sip on a hot cup of green tea, or a cup of hot water if you need something warm in your hands. Otherwise, plan to consume at least 8 ounces of water before each meal today.
  3. Bake some squash or yams … the more yellow or orange the better. In 20-some years of working with clients on diet, the yellow and orange vegetables tend to get neglected more often than almost anything else. Technically classified as caretenoids, they are low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, and a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium. They are also a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. Complete nutrition facts here, for baked with added salt, so you can/should reduce your sodium intake by cutting back on (or eliminating) the added salt … especially if hypertensive. Plus, your oven will add some heat to your home!
  4. And while the oven is hot, Roast some pumpkin and squash seeds. Low in Cholesterol, they are a good source of Protein, Vitamin K, Iron and Copper, and a very good source of Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese. This food is, however, high in fat, especially saturated fats, so you’ll want to sprinkle them on salads and use sparingly in other dishes.
  5. Book a trip to someplace warm … like hot enough to require that you eventually shed some clothing. Facing an immediate deadline for exposing otherwise well covered body parts will help keep you focused this Winter. Click here to connect with my good friend Renata at AAA for some travel tips.
  6. Get some sun. Rarely does it get this cold with a lot of cloud cover. Grab a book, your notebook computer … or whatever … and find a sunny window to sit near for an hour or two. Physicians increasingly attribute a good portion of our winter ailments  to sun derived vitamin D deficiency.
  7. Women, schedule your annual breast exam. While October is breast cancer awareness month; if you missed it then, schedule it now.
  8. Men, check your prostate. While heart disease is still your best chance of checking out early, cancer is #2 and colon cancer is one of the likelier villains. Very treatable when caught early; very deadly when not. Pick up the phone right now and get it scheduled!
  9. Change your furnace filter! Not only will you help reduce the dust and allergen content of your air, but your furnace will run more efficiently, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint!
  10. Go to the gym! With the New Year’s resolutes out in full force, it’s guaranteed to be warm and humid in there! Ocall Fitness Together if you don’t like the crowds or humidity, but really want to heat it up!
So, even though it’s not (Rio de Janeiro forecast) 85 degrees outside, there are still plenty of things to do to stay fit and healthy!

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