This is a guest post from Nate Pontious, Co-Founder of HōmeBodies. Nate is a ISSA , NASM , Pain Free Performance Specialist Certified, CrossFit Level 1 Coach Certified, and USA Boxing Certified trainer providing us with mindset shifts and practical tips to keep consistent throughout winter months.
The winter months are that time of year when our rhythm starts to seriously shift. It gets darker earlier, cold(er) weather, and back to back holidays have the potential to inevitably upend any healthy routines that you may have worked really hard to create.
It is first important to note that the word “Fitness” as I refer to it has nothing to do with the modern fitness industry, but rather- the state of our physical-being. That is a culmination of our nutrition, health & well-being (lack of sickness) (both mental & physical) as well as the ability to perform challenging physical activities that may present themselves to us in day to day life… So it's important that we use every tool at our disposal not just to survive through these months, but use it as a chance to adapt, evolve & THRIVE. Because there are far more ways to move the needle on our “fitness” than mindlessly repping out burpees in a conventional gym. In all reality, the winter months could actually be presenting us with the opportunity to get fitter. We just don't know it yet…
Step number 1 is to bring more focus on how you are fueling your body, than how (much) you're moving your body. Use this time to optimize your nutrition so you feel good & energized when you do get out and move your body.
Cooking is a pretty excellent restorative- ‘winding down’ activity to go with the flow of the shorter winter days. Which leads me right into it→
EMBRACE THE SEASON- don't fight it.
We want the path of least resistance & that comes from a harmonious relationship with mother nature. Our modern ways of life are becoming more and more unnatural. It's cold outside so we crank on the heater to stay comfortable, we spend far less time outdoors, stare at screens for longer hours & get far less sunlight. Biologically we are a mess inside, psychologically there is a lot of dis-regulation going on- top that off with societal norms & the holiday influence of more emotional eating and binge drinking- really the odds don't seem to be in our favor, it's an evolutionary mis-match from Hell really...
I am a firm believer in ‘eating the frog’ & moving my body first thing in the morning. Maintaining physically active is the single most important thing that you can do for your health- not just during the colder months, but all year round..
After all, our body is our vessel that we experience the world with- neglecting the very thing that connects you with nature isn't excellent.
Efficiency and effectiveness hacks really get me fired up, so naturally I have the perfect opportunity to kill literally 3 birds with one stone.
[Increase mental fortitude]
[Move the needle on physical fitness]
Why do we get sick(un-fit) during this time of year..?
Vitamin D deficiencies (lack of sunlight) play a pretty huge role in an optimal immune system. So simply getting outside into that first bit of sunlight of the day not only acts as a grounding agent with nature for you to be in tune with the day, but also gets you some vitamin D exposure. This routine is a very instinctive behavior pattern that your body will adapt extremely effortlessly. Remi has just recently started timing her yoga flows on the deck with the sunrise. This simple and intuitive practice manifests itself into a sort of ease and flow to the day- as she rose & moved WITH the sun and carried that momentum throughout the day. Going with the flow- NOT fighting it.
“But it's cold outside…”
“Ice-man” Whim Hoff on why he never catches a cold:
“If you don't go to the cold- then the cold comes to you!” “To prevent the cold from coming to you- you must go to the cold.”
Isn't it funny how when we were all kids, our moms told us to put a jacket on because we would catch a cold- because of the temperature outside. Aside from hypothermia, there is literally no correlation to “catching a cold” as it relates to the temperature outside..In fact, recent studies show exactly the contrary- the new ice bath & cryo-therapy craze & the benefits to the immune system is just proof in the puddin.
COLD WON'T KILL YOU… BUT TOO MUCH COMFORT WILL
Get outside and generate body heat- run, row, climb, do yoga, walk, ride a bike…Just do some sort of aerobic activity for at least 25 minutes in a fasted state right when you start your day if possible…Aim to do this with some sunlight if possible & you have moved the needle in 3 different ways to benefit your fitness. Not only have you effectively increased your metabolic rate (fat-loss) for the day by exercising, but also gotten the benefit(s) of sunlight & created some seriously powerful momentum for the day ahead of you. Life is full of discomfort and struggles & stress for every single one of us. Exercise simply presents us with the chance to expose our body (& mind) to some stress & in the process develop mental toughness and resilience. The simple act of self-overcoming through frequent exposure sets us up to better handle stressful life scenarios & that is what matters most.
“Fitness” is about far more than how our bodies look naked & once we realize that- then we can really start to utilize our routines to cultivate a potent mind-body connection that will have a powerful ripple effect into every area of your life...It is this mindset that allows you to embrace the season & not just stay fit during the winter, but use it as a time to get fitter.
HōmeBodies was voted best daily workout by Women's Health and is a 365 day workout program that focuses on movement intent over intensity. Each day is a new and unique workout, structured with purpose, so you can continue showing up injury free and have fun while you're at it. Each workout is between 45 min- 1 hour long and all you need are a pair of dumbbells for the entire program. Check it out here!
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