Tips For Staying Active Through the Changing Seasons

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

As the seasons shift from apples and pumpkins to gingerbread and candy canes, you might find that your motivation to work out goes right out the window. It’s definitely that time of year when weekends are full of holiday feasting and festivities, and weekdays are spent shopping, baking, and trying to survive the holiday hustle. When it comes to our health, it’s really easy to fall into the “I’m just going to wait until the New Year” trap. I mentioned this in my November newsletter a couple of weeks ago, but why wait until January to get back on track?

In the spirit of my F&F Holiday Hustle challenge that starts today, I’m teaming up with Target® C9 to help you beat the winter blues and end your year on a more positive note. If you haven’t signed up for the challenge yet, please do! Instead of just going through the motions of the holidays, we are going to try to thrive during them instead. To start, here are my tips for staying active through the changing seasons, especially as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter.

Tips for Staying Active Through the Changing Seasons

Move during the day
For those of you who sit at a desk all day long, set a timer to get up and remind yourself to take walking breaks. Take a lap around the building or walk up and down the stairs. Something I’ve recently started doing is going from my desk on the 6th floor to the restroom on the first floor so that I have to walk all the way back up the stairs a few extra times during the day. Every step counts!

Take a class
The winter is a great time of year to take advantage of the classes offered at local gyms or fitness studios. I’m much more inclined to want to be participating in an indoor class when it’s sub-freezing outside than when it’s a beautiful summer or fall day. Whatever class you choose, pick something that seems interesting to you and up your alley so that you will be more likely to stick with it! Some of my winter favorites include indoor cycling, heated yoga, and kickboxing.

hubhealth3 yoga

Go out and play
Despite the cold, there are actually a lot of outdoor winter activities to choose from too! I’m personally not a downhill skier, but I really want to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing this year. Ice skating is another way you can keep moving in the winter. Maybe these aren’t as traditional as other forms of fitness are, but you’re moving during them, aren’t you? Any of these activities also make for fun and active dates or catch time with a friend instead of revolving social obligations around food.

Embrace at home workouts
If you aren’t feeling that slippery commute to the gym, do at home workouts! There are countless ways to exercise at home, whether it be with a quick bodyweight workout or with minimal equipment. Check out my fitness page for some of the routines that I keep handy for when I’m in a pinch!

Mindy Mylrea DVDSporting one of my Target® C9 tanks!

Try something new
One of my favorite weeks at the gym every year is the week between Christmas and New Year’s. There is literally NOBODY there! Last year, I used this time to conquer my fear of the weight room. I felt much more comfortable trying out new machines and trying heavier weights for the first time when there was barely anyone else in there. By the time the week after New Year’s rolled around and all the January Joiners were crowding the weight room, I felt more confident with my routine. Consider trying something that scares you before the resolution making crowds scare you away instead.

Weight Room: Trap Bar Deadlift

I hope these tips help you as we kick off the first of the month today!

–Let’s chat–
How do you try and stay active as the seasons change? What are your go to winter workout tips? Do you own any apparel from the Target® C9 brand?

Besides the tank above, I also own a few zipups and sports bras!

Tips For Getting Off the Soda Bandwagon

Growing up, I was never a big soda fan. My parents didn’t have it in the house a lot, and for some reason, I rarely opted for it at friends’ houses or birthday parties. I’m not sure why, I just always preferred juice or water.

Then I went to college, and my diet soda addiction began. It helped me stay awake when studying late hours, it helped cure one too many weekend hangovers, and along with its regular coke brother, it was also my mixer of choice until my 21st birthday ruined rum and cokes for me. For life.

21st birthdayClearly you can see why.

After college, I was an on again off again diet coke drinker, but as I started to learn more about the negative effects of both regular and diet sodas, I wanted to cut it out completely. So many people debate which is worse, regular soda or diet soda, but let’s stop wasting our breath arguing about it. They’re both bad for you. One is chock full of calories and sugar, while the other is loaded with artificial ingredients and chemicals. I wanted to cut out diet cokes around the same time I wanted to give up using artificial sweeteners in my coffee. Becoming educated about what you eat, drink, and put in your bodies is truly life changing.

To this day, I can say it’s been years since I’ve had a diet coke. And the only time I drink soda ever is when I’m flying, because ginger ale helps calm my stomach. It wasn’t always an easy road to get to a soda free life though! Today, I want to share a few tips for rethinking your drink and quitting your soda addiction.

Soda Bandwagon

Eliminate a little bit at a time.
If you are someone who drinks a few glasses of soda a day, going cold turkey might not be the best idea. It certainly works for some people, but eliminating it all together may make you feel like you are completely punishing yourself with deprivation. It also could lead to some serious withdrawal headaches! For me, it helped to initially cut out only one drink at a time and then work on my goal gradually.

Remove it from your environment.
This one might seem pretty straightforward, but if you are trying to cut out soda, don’t buy it at the grocery store! Get it out of your house, and don’t keep it in the fridge at work. You are more likely to cave into the temptation if it’s within easy reach. If you work at a company that has soda machines, ask if you can add seltzer to that machine. That is one of the small changes we made through our wellness program at work this year, and I think it’s helped a lot of people drink less soda.

Replace it with a different fizz.
I think the turning moment in my no soda goal was when I discovered seltzer/sparkling water. I think this might be pretty common because according to Nielsen, there was a 9.5 million gallon increase in sparkling water and seltzer consumption in the United States in 2013, making it the fastest growing beverage category! Basically, you still get the bubbles and fizz, just without all the added crap in it. I actually started drinking so much sparkling water that Tim got me a Soda Stream once for Valentine’s Day. Now that’s love!

Soda StreamAside from making plain seltzer in the Soda Stream at home, I’ve also tried several different brands of flavored versions too. One of my favorites is actually one that I just recently tried this summer, Nestle Pure Life Exotics.

Nestle Pure Life ExoticsI like this brand because the sparkling water comes in four different varieties: key lime, tangerine, mango peach pineapple, and strawberry dragon fruit. These flavors are just more exciting to me than the basic lemon and lime that some other brands offer. I loved drinking these at the beach all summer!

Nestle WaterFocus on addition, not subtraction.
Finally, instead of focusing on cutting out soda, shift your mindset to adding in more water. It’s a simple mindset thing, but don’t you think that concentrating on the things you want to do (drink more water) is a better approach than agonizing on the things you shouldn’t do (have that coke)? I guarantee if you work on increasing the number of ounces of H20 you have in a day, you’ll drink less soda by default. One way I like to spruce up my water to help with increased water intake is by putting slices of fresh fruit such as lemons, limes, or oranges in there for extra flavor.

–Let’s chat–
What’s your favorite kind of seltzer or sparkling water? Do you drink soda? Have you embraced an add, not subtract approach before? Anyone else have a drink ruined for them during their 21st birthday?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided free product from Nestle. As always, all opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links within this post.