Staying healthy in the winter: recipe and exercise inspiration

Three weeks into the new year and you can already feel the tragic demise of the resolution buzz. The gym becomes less crowded, the neighborhood juice bar no longer has a line, and your fridge hosts a collection of take-out boxes instead of the fresh fruits and veggies you swore you’d keep in stock. In the face of freezing temperatures and way-too-early sunsets, being active and staying on track with your health and fitness goals becomes increasingly difficult. You’d think that as a victim of this mid-winter slump year after year, I’d finally have some established tactics to face the pestering fitness enemy I like to call winter. Truth is, I really don’t! Instead, I like to come up with new inspiration to stay in shape and stick to my healthy eating routine each week. Whether it’s committing to indoor exercise classes with friends or signing up for a new CSA, I’ve tried it all! And today, I’m attempting a new tactic– blogging about some simple meals and exercises that have kept me on track this year. No better way to keep your commitments than by making them public on the internet, am I right? And by doing so, I hope to offer a tad bit of inspiration to you as well. This post is inspired by aloha.com and their impressive catalog of healthy products! #AlohaMoment

Heartwarming, Nutritious, and Winter-proof Recipes
1. Butternut Squash and Pear Soup by It’s a Veg World After All
This is the easiest soup to whip together in the winter! Although the butternut squash and pear flavors are typically used during the Thanksgiving season, I find them enjoyable throughout the entire winter. 2 bowls of this + a piece of crunchy, multigrain bread is your ticket to a substantial weeknight dinner. Want to make it even more seasonal? Try it out with another type of squash or winter fruit and let me know how you like it 🙂

2. Immunity Tea with Cayenne Pepper by Kimberly Snyder
Fresh lemon juice, water, ginger, cayenne pepper. Boom. Immune system– you have been served…(a delicious concoction that will keep you strong!)

3. Pomegranate Vinaigrette by Terry Walters
When the temperature drops, I develop the strongest opposition to salads. It’s just something about these crunchy, cold concoctions that I can’t get enough of in the summer and attempt to avoid in the winter! But with the help of delicious dressings like this pomegranate vinaigrette, I’m much more likely to get my greens in.

Looking for even more recipes? Check out Aloha’s recipe center!

Simple, At-home Exercises
As a runner who lives on the Schuylkill River Trail and harbors a deep resentment for treadmills, staying in shape in the winter is ONE of my biggest challenges! Even with a gym membership that’s complementary with my grad school tuition, I cannot nail down a solid workout routine. I miss that fresh air too much! But coming up with some at-home exercise routines has been a game-changer…

1. Squats, Push-ups, Sit-ups…Repeat
The easiest way to increase your heart rate in the comfort of your own home! I try to add in a few sets of these simple exercises into my morning routine. When it comes to fitness, winter is all about maintenance, after all 🙂

2. Lunges, Ledge Jumps, Jumping Jacks…Repeat
Another routine that’s easy to complete and squeeze into the post-alarm clock/pre-breakfast time slot. Combine this with #1 and you’ve got yourself a full body workout!

3.TV Yoga
Call me crazy, but some of the best yoga classes I’ve been to involved a mat in front of my TV and a virtual instructor (thank you On Demand). But really, if you’re already paying for cable, you might as well take advantage of the fitness classes your boob tube offers! Most are free or inexpensive and offer the perfect outlet for yogis and fitness enthusiasts who just can’t make it to that early morning class. Namaste, y’all.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015! Let’s keep our resolutions going, shall we?!

Peace,

Lizzie

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