When temperatures dip, our body adjusts by storing fat to keep warm and switching our brain into hibernation mode. But this can hamper our healthy goals and lower our energy. Fortunately, you can use these three tips to improve your winter metabolism and keep your energy levels going through the cold Canadian weather.
Get outside or to the gym.
The cold isn’t an excuse to lie in bed all day. Being active through the winter is the easiest way to stay in shape and ensure your metabolism works through the season. If you feel lethargic, it’s because the lower temperatures can cause your body to become slightly insulin resistant. As a result, your muscles don’t respond as well to glucose, which is essentially their fuel. Combat this with regular endurance or weight-training exercises to help boost insulin response, burn energy and get your metabolism going.
It’s easy to remember to stay hydrated in the summer since we drink more water to cool down. In the winter, however, you may not realize how dehydrated your body is, or why it’s important to drink enough fluids. Studies have found that dehydration can slow down your metabolism, resulting in fewer calories burned per day compared to when you’re sufficiently hydrated.
The general rule is eight glasses of water per day, but this varies depending on your own individual health factors. To make sure you’re properly hydrated, check your urine — it should be a clear to light-yellow colour. If it’s dark yellow, drink up.
When our metabolism is down, it may be easier to succumb to the winter blues. Fortunately, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to help prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and when coupled with proper, regular exercise, can help boost the enzymes in our system that break down fat.
Vitamin D is another essential nutrient that many Canadians don’t get enough of in the winter, and deficiency has been linked to obesity and even metabolic syndrome. As the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough this season for our bodies to produce sufficient amounts naturally, consider supplementing.
When purchasing natural health products, always look for the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN). This certifies that Health Canada has reviewed and approved the product for safety, efficacy and quality.
Find more healthy winter tips online at chfa.ca.