Keeping healthy in the cold

Take up jogging during the winter season. Photo / Thinkstock
Take up jogging during the winter season. Photo / Thinkstock

Fondling a chocolate biscuit on the couch instead of an exercise bike at the gym?

Join the club.

The winter months require steely determination to keep in shape. For many it's hard enough in summer to don the running shoes and chew on an apple, let alone when it's dark and rainy.

As we stand on the precipice of winter, here are seven tips from Naomi Ashcroft, an accredited yogi and director of health and wellness resort Salt Retreats, to help us avoid the dreaded bulge.

1. Start fresh

Begin every morning with some stretches and a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice. This simple drink purifies the system and stimulates the liver, breaking down stored fats.

2. Brekky

Fuel your body with nourishing low GI foods - instead of the token winter brekky of bacon and eggs, try rolled oats with almond milk for long-lasting energy.

Sweeten it up with some chopped banana, fresh dates and coconut.

3. Get moving

Winter is a fantastic time to start running, believe it or not. With the clear, crisp air your body burns more calories trying to keep warm. If you can't stand the thought of a morning or evening jog, schedule in half an hour every day to do some sort of light fitness.

There are so many fun winter sports such as soccer, touch football or cricket. The team atmosphere is a great motivator and between training sessions and match day, your daily exercise will feel less like a workout and more like a game.

4. Oil up

Don't reach for the vegetable oils when cooking your slow roasted stews, try coconut oil. This oil has a high burning temperature, which makes it perfect for cooking in pans or woks and it's known to boost metabolism, improve insulin secretion and promote tissue healing and repair.

5. Get massaged

Get the blood moving through the muscles with regular massages. Medical research has shown that massage has a number of benefits, including reduction of blood pressure, pain relief and an increase of endorphins - the feel-good hormone.

6. Green magic

Liquid chlorophyll is one of nature's wonder-foods, helping the body to rebuild red blood cells, acting as an anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory and promoting healthy intestinal flora.

7. Clean your machine

Try to avoid consuming too much dairy, wheat and sugar. These all cause bloating, have little nutritional benefit and contain addictive substances, meaning the more you consume, the more you crave. Instead, try foods laden with vitamins and minerals, such as fruit and green leafy vegetables.

- AAP

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