This is part 1 of a 3 part series on staying healthy during winter. In part 2 we discussed the difficulties of getting motivated. Part 3 addressed workout/ healthy eating tips. Additional tips will be published in the next issue of our magazine. You can view it online for FREE right here.
Staying healthy sucks. Then add in external factors like weather, travel, and a busy business schedule and good luck keeping that midsection slim. With so many things to distract our attention and consume our precious, limited time it’s no wonder that working out often gets pushed to the back burner.
During winter I’d look for any excuse to not workout. It’s too cold out. It’s too hot out. It’s snowing. The sun may blind me if I try to run today. Looking back, the reasons I conjure up in my little mind are always absurd, even laughable. But, humans like to rationalize things. We want the world to make sense. It can’t be that I’m lazy and weak. There has to be some greater explanation, some mystical alignment of the stars, galaxies, or cosmos. So I come up with some ridiculous excuse for why I can’t workout today and I stick with it.
From a very young age on we’re conditioned to believe that pain is bad and should be avoided. If you touch a hot stove you’ll get burnt and learn to be more careful next time. If you get punched in the face by a bully at school you learn to either run next time or kick him first. In order to survive we have learned to avoid pain. There is a cognitive link between our physiology and the world around us. This is why humans often think in terms of pleasure and pain and direct life accordingly. Whole philosophies have been built around this concept, avoid pain and look for pleasure.
In the winter, especially if you live somewhere where your nose hairs freeze when you step outside and your eyes water from the biting cold, there are excuses galore, pre-made and perfectly packaged for your use. “It’s icy out.” “It’s whiteout conditions right now.” “It’s dark already and I have no ambition.” “I had a long day with all of those meetings.” But, all of these are just excuses, self-justifications to make ourselves feel better. For eons and eons people have been puffing up perceptions of themselves. Cavemen drew pictures of themselves on cave walls wielding clubs and killing ferocious looking beasts. The Caesar’s of Rome give historians a choice: show that I’m a direct descend of some Roman God or I’ll cut your head off. Presidents hire image consultants and pay them bucko bucks to create an inflated image.
In a world like this it is no wonder humans have a desire to make themselves sound better than they really are. But, the truth of the matter is that the gut doesn’t lie. If you don’t work out, eat healthy, and take care of yourself it shows and others will notice. Working out improves confidence and self esteem, gives you more energy, and wards off illnesses and diseases.
So, in a world that gives us a high-five when we make an excuse to remain ordinary, how are we to find the motivation to get in shape, stay in shape, or get healthy? We've already written about some creative ways to make working out in winter fun in a previous post. So for this article we'll be focusing on getting rid of our excuses and genuinely wanting to become healthier, stronger, and more fit. Part II of this article will address this, and be published next week.