“Please never feel pressured to be very thin because we are always photoshopped in every picture that you see.”
1. You Don’t Get Hot
The ﬁrst and most obvious benefit to running outside in the winter is that you aren’t likely to overheat. Because of this, winter running is actually somewhat easier. Heat and humidity slow you down and can make you want to stop running before your planned mileage is up. Even in the gym, the air can get sticky. But outside in the fresh air you can maintain a comfortable temperature for a long time with just a couple of moisture-wicking layers on.
2. It Prepares You for Races
Sure, in a pinch the treadmill is a great tool. Everyone has their cold threshold, when it’s just too frigid to be outside.
And there are some days when the snow and ice make the roads too perilous for running. But the smooth surface and human-propelling belt of a treadmill can leave your training regimen…well, a little ﬂat.
If you’re preparing for that big spring marathon you’re much better off training in conditions that are similar to those on race day. On the graded and uneven surface of the road, you’ll be training your muscles, joints and lungs to handle the real thing. The mill can’t give you the same workout that the pavement can, so running outdoors as much as possible can get your body in line come race day.
3. It Builds Your Mental and Physical Toughness
Pulling on that gear and heading out into the 20 degree day can be a hard thing to do when your house is (and your toes are) nice and warm. Not to mention the fact that there’s dirty snow on the ground, the trees are nothing to look at and your running partners have all disappeared. Many say that running is about mental toughness; well, this is a good time to gain some.
Running in the cold improves your physical endurance; the intense weather can program your body to operate better in adverse conditions, thereby increasing your stamina. Also, you’ll get used to the cold after awhile, and the increase in blood circulation can keep you warmer while you’re at rest. Learn to love racking up miles out in the chilly tundra, and you’ll become a much stronger runner.
4. It Curbs the Winter Blues
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) gets to a fair amount of those who live in the chilliest climates, especially after the holidays are over. But even if you don’t get the winter blues, a dose of fresh air and sunshine is good for you. It can boost your mood and keep you motivated while everyone else is sleeping late and complaining about the snow.
5. It Keeps Off the Winter Bulge
The term “bathing suit season” was coined for a reason: most everyone spends the spring and summer on some diet, trying to lose the winter weight and regain their shape. But you don’t have to let the colder months turn you into a lazy pile of mush.
Here are some great tips for a healthy breakfast:
1. Be consistent with your portions. For most people, a perfect breakfast has three components: one serving of a whole grain carbohydrate, one serving of a dairy or high-calcium food, and one serving of fruit. Together, that would add up to roughly 300 calories
2. Have a bowl of sweetened brown rice. Consider it a takeoff on prepared cereal. Brown rice is full of energy-providing B vitamins, as well as a great source of filling fiber.
4. Use organic eggs. They’re not much more expensive than regular eggs but are much higher in all-important omega-3 fatty acids, shown to benefit everything from your mental health (reducing risk of depression) to your heart health (reducing risk of atherosclerosis and atrial fibrillation),
5. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds. It could be over your cereal, over your yogurt, over your smoothie, or over your eggs. Next to fish and organic eggs, flaxseeds are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Use Benecol, Take Control, or Smart Balance instead of butter. These newly developed soft food spreads contain heart-healthy plant stanols. Just 2 tablespoons daily can significantly lower your total cholesterol level.
7. Have lunch for breakfast. Instead of butter or cream cheese, top your morning (whole wheat) toast with 2 tablespoons tuna prepared with low-fat mayonnaise. The tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of energy-boosting protein.
8. Top your cereal with soy milk. Packed with potent phytoestrogens, soy has been credited with everything from protecting your heart to promoting stronger bones. But make sure that it’s fortified with calcium; otherwise you’re missing a great opportunity to get some bone-building calcium.
9. Hit the vegetarian section of the grocery. Soy bacon and sausage, gardenburgers, and soy crumbles make great sources of protein for breakfast without the saturated fat of their meat originals
10. Drink three cups of unsweetened orange juice every morning. The vitamin C in OJ not only boosts your immunity, but also improves your cholesterol levels. One study found that drinking three glasses of orange juice a day for four weeks raised levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, by 21 percent
11. Choose these toppers for your (whole wheat) bagel or toast:
- Two tablespoons nonfat cottage cheese sprinkled with flaxseed
- One slice low-fat cheese melted over a slice of mango
- Two tablespoons soy butter with a sliced banana
- One slice of baked ham and one sliced tomato
12. Shave one ounce of dark chocolate over a cup of nonfat yogurt. Mix. The calcium-rich yogurt can actually help in your efforts to lose weight, while the antioxidant-loaded dark chocolate can help reduce the stickiness of “bad” LDL cholesterol and keep your arteries more pliable. Plus, who can resist starting the day with chocolate?
Hope you enjoyed this one (: xo
good to know.
Whether you’re doing the Whole30 or not, you’ve probably heard something about fruit and how maybe it’s not one of those foods you can eat unlimited quantities of without consequence after all. One of the only questions I got yesterday was about fruit.
Fruit contains plenty of fructose, which is a naturally occurring fruit sugar. Naturally occurring is good, right? Well, yes. Naturally occurring sugars are certainly preferable to man-made corn syrup. But does your body really know the difference? Eh, not so much. Sugar is sugar is sugar. The amount in fruit, however, is a lot lower than say, the amount in candy, baked goods, or even savory entrees. And the other stuff you get with fruit (fiber, nutrients) is absent in other sugar-containing food. This helps slow your body’s absorption of that sugar — a sort of antidote to it, if you will.
Here’s the real issue with fruit, as I see it: It can act as a convenient and politically correct crutch/substitute when you’re craving something —anything— sweet. The idea of the Whole30 (or any low sugar diet, really) is to get out of the habit of needing sweet-tasting foods. Why? Because they’re super addicting and make you crave more sweet-tasting foods! Plus, eating hyper-naturally sweet foods dulls your ability to detect subtle sweetness in foods that aren’t saccharine-sweet… So you in turn need evenmore sweetness. It’s a vicious cycle!
So here’s my advice, in a nutshell:
- Definitely eat fruit. DEFINITELY. It’s super delicious and obviously nutritious. That said, keep reading this list.
- Try to focus on seasonal fruit.
- Don’t get in the habit of eating fruit after every meal. Don’t use it in place of dessert or you’ll never get out of the habit of needing something sweet.
- If you find yourself becoming dependent on fruit, cut back and limit yourself to lower sugar fruits (berries are a good bet).
- Again, if you’re finding yourself craving the sweetness of fruit, try to avoid the highest sugar fruits: bananas, grapes, mango, pineapple, cherries, dried fruit.
- But all that said: FRUIT IS STILL BETTER THAN 90% OF ALL OTHER FOODS, in terms of nutrition, etc. So please don’t ever feel bad about eating a few pieces of fruit, especially when it’s local and seasonal! The goal is just to make sure you’re not using fruit as a crutch.
I try to stick to 2-3 servings of fruit per day, tops. I include starchy vegetables in that count too (foods like sweet potatoes and winter squash). But really, if eating too much fruit is your problem… you’re doing pretty well!
The Tumblr Gym would like to proudly present our new program. DormFit is a 100% free fitness program for high school and college students. We have specially designed it to allow you to exercise in the comfort of your own room or dorm with little to no equipment needed. We are very excited to launch our first set of video workouts. We hope you enjoy and get very fit!
5 Foods That Fight Bloat
- Papaya - There’s some research that says the enzyme in papaya may aid digestion.
- Oatmeal - According to Harlan, in a recent meta-analysis of a number of studies related to digestion, researchers found that oat bran can be particularly beneficial.
- Yogurt - The key is to make sure you’re choosing a yogurt that has “active cultures,” which will increase the number of “good” bacteria in your gut, helping you digest more efficiently and preventing that belly from blowing up. Harlan says to look for organic plain yogurt (which is very likely to contain the active cultures), and to steer clear of anything with “fruit on the bottom.”
- Asparagus - There’s some really interesting new data aboutasparagus that indicates that it has some probiotic benefits,” says Harlan. So it may ease the build-up of gas and, because of its diuretic properties, also flush waste and excess water from your body.
- Quinoa - The potassium in quinoa has been shown to beat bloat — plus, this South American grain is a great source of the minerals magnesium, phosphorous and especially manganese. It packs both fiber (2.6 grams per 1/2 cup) and protein, a stellar nutrient combo that can keep you satisfied for hours.- Self Magazine!
College Snacking 101
These are all my go to snacks during the semester. Of course these are also great for at home, at work, or any other time, they’re mostly things that have helped me for the different situations that pop up while at college. There’s plenty more and you can find out what your University offers but these are all things easy to keep around in your dorm room to grab and go with!
For more ways to stay healthy in college go here: