The minute that Aussies get a whiff of winter, many of us burrow down with Netflix, red wine, and getting to know the pizza delivery guy quite intimately. It's simple biology - we instinctively hibernate and grab extra calories for those colder months.
Yet cold months soon turn warm, and that extra layer of clothing can no longer hide the extra layer of fat. So fight nature's path, and take a different course this winter
20 steps to a healthy winter
1. Drink Tea
From green to white to black to lemon ginger and chamomile, tea is healthy and warming. Put down the fruity drinks and soda this winter – your body will love tea as its replacement.
2. Make a chilli
I made a turkey chilli on the weekend with tomatoes, capsicums, onion, garlic, pinto or black beans, and cumin-chili spice-paprika. Instead of serving with the usual white rice and or bread bowl and cheese, and sour cream I used quinoa and finely diced broccoli. Chilli is cheap, warming, healthy, and simple to freeze for leftovers.
3. Cuddle up
Don't forget about body heat - a hot dose of sex, orgasms, and a cuddle is a fun way to stay warm.
4. Train indoors
Exercise in the gym. Play tennis. Swim. Go indoor rock climbing. Play squash, five-a-side soccer, badminton, or basketball. If the weather truly turns cold, windy, and sour there are plenty of indoor activities to keep fit and warm.
5. Make a Sunday slow roast
Man's best cooking friend is a slow roaster. Adding chicken, beef, or lamb and a few spices turns out tender, restaurant quality food. Add veggies or a salad for a healthy winter meal that's sweet on anybody's budget.
6. Wake with warmth
Smash the alarm clock and enjoy a warm water with lemon and cucumber. Jump in a warm shower, then enjoy a hot oats breakfast with fruit.
7. Enjoy some pho
Vietnamese food is the new Thai, and a broth-y concoction of herbs and spices, noodles, greens, and protein is a healthy (watch the sodium), low-cal warming fix this winter.
8. Take a bath
A warm bath at night with some candles and music going is stress relieving and reduces inflammation.
9. Spice it up
Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and other spices not only keep you warm, but they also boost your health.
10. Enjoy glass of decent red
A cold beer or glass of white is always a treat in the sun. But in the cooler months? It's time for a healthy drop of red wine.
11. Train outdoors
You actually burn more calories in the colder weather because your body works harder to keep warm. Avoid cabin fever and Vitamin D deficiency by moving your body outdoors.
12. Sleep well
With early sunsets and the winter social calendar typically clear, getting to bed earlier becomes easier. A well-rested body avoids nagging winter colds too. Rug up with an extra blanket, electric blanket, or hot water bottle.
13. Enjoy the chill
I train outdoors at 7am with a client, and we've learned to love the chilly temperatures complemented by the morning sun and a tranquil environment. You can moan about cold temperatures? Or, you can love it – it's a state of mind.
14. Keep your skin hydrated
The cold and wind can be damaging to the skin, so equip yourself with a quality moisturiser.
15. Jump in the steam, sauna, or hot tub.
Most gyms have a combination of these facilities, any of which calms and warms the body while relieving stress.
16. Move with intensity
A walk in the cold is just a cold walk. Move with intensity because it burns more calories, and a sweating (and swearing) workout is a warm one. Hit the stairs, do some Tabata / HIIT work, and throw a kettlebell around in the back garden
17. Stay positive
This isn't 'fake news' – Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. So, get outdoors, laugh, run with your dog, and keep smiling through the chilly months with less sunlight.
18. Get inspired
You can hit snooze, and stay in bed. Or you can get inspired, get moving, get the blood flowing, and get warm. Turn up the music. Exercise with a friend. Join a group class indoors, or join bootcamp outdoors. Remember a friend or loved one that is going through some hardships.
19. Plan a trip
You step off the plane, and you can feel it, smell it, and almost taste it – that warmth. Plan a trip in the Queensland, European, or North American sun to relax, reward, and give your body a little break from some cooler temps and tough work weeks.
I'm not one to bombard you with winter memes, fitspo, and "winter workouts create summer bodies" cliches. But I will say this: winter isn't a time for excuses. It's a time where you can concentrate on wellness and longevity – it's a great time to put your health first.
If the proceeding 19 tips didn't stick, and you're still dreading the chill? That leads to Tip number 20:
20. Stop being so soft
We live in Australia. It's not that cold.
Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.
How are you going to keep fit this winter? Share your plans in the comments section below.