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How to Stay Healthy and Motivated Over Winter Break

Going home for winter break is our main motivation to get through finals. In those four or five weeks that you’re home for break, you’ll be able to catch up on sleep, get together with old friends, and binge-watch many Netflix shows. There’s also the chance that you will be traveling on a vacation, where you may be overeating and not working out. What people always forget about is how easy it is to be lazy over break; not much exercising gets done, and we eat more than we do at school. Here are some ways to stay healthy and in shape when you are home for winter break this year.

Working out with old friends—Of course you want to catch up with some of your high school friends when you’re home. There will probably be many dinners out and many nights in where you eat more than you need to and move less than you should. Try going to a gym with your friends! Many gyms offer a pay-per-visit paying method, which makes it easy and convenient for college students. If you’re really motivated, try to purchase a one-month membership at a gym—that way, you’ll force yourself to work out because it’s already paid for. Going to the gym with a friend gives you the opportunity to catch up while motivating each other to stay healthy.

Plan ahead—It’s way too easy to gain weight in college. You lose weight over the summer and head back to school in September feeling and looking great, and then next thing you know you head home for winter break carrying 5+ extra pounds. This could be great motivation for you; try to lose the weight you gained first semester, and then maybe a couple pounds more. Turn over a new leaf, and you’ll be starting the new year and the new semester looking better than ever.

Hold back on the drinking—A main reason college students gain weight is because of drinking. If you cut back on your alcohol intake over winter break, then that will automatically save you some unnecessary calories.

Cook at home—Lets face it, one of the better part of being at home for break is the great food we get. We all love our parents’ cooking and going out to dinner, but those calories can add up. Try cooking at home a few times; it could be a fun activity for your whole family or your group of friends. This way, you’ll know how the food is prepared and you’ll be more aware of what’s going into your body.

Exercising outside of the gym—There are other fun and new exercises you can do that don’t involve weights or the elliptical. If you’re in a warm place, try going for a hike, a walk, a run, or maybe even canoeing. If you’re in a cold spot, try swimming, yoga or Pilates. These will mix up your exercise routine, keeping your body and mind alert.

Now that you’re not stressing about finals and classes and you’re home to unwind, it may be too easy to let things go. Stressing can lead to weight gain, so relaxing should be at the top of your “winter to-do list.” Try exercising with friends, cooking at home, and planning ahead, and you’ll have a healthy and great winter break. 

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