A chill is in the wind and the leaves are falling to the ground. That can mean only one thing; fall is here and winter isn’t far behind. When the weather gets colder, many people go into hibernation mode, forgoing their typical fitness routine until it warms up again. This makes it easier for your health to take a hit, which puts you at greater risk of getting sick or developing long-lasting diseases. At the Cardio Metabolic Institute of New Jersey, we’re passionate about keeping your heart healthy all year round. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list to help you stay healthy in these colder months. Want to learn more about improving your cardiovascular health? Call us today to schedule your appointment.

-Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables aren’t exclusive to spring and summer. In fact, there are many delicious options that are in season through the fall and winter which you should include in your diet. Fruits like oranges, kiwis, grapefruit, and mandarins are perfect for adding to your breakfast since they’ll give you a much-needed boost of vitamins and energy you need to get moving on those cold mornings. Try adding in an extra serving of veggies to each meal when possible, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. These are great ingredients to throw in a soup when you want to warm yourself up while staying healthy. You can even grab some fruits and vegetables that won’t be in season, throw them in the freezer, and break them out when you need a change of pace.

-Tea Time

Few things are as therapeutic in the winter as a nice hot mug of tea. Whether you prefer black or green tea, they’re both packed with antioxidants and flavonoids (plant chemicals). Additionally, studies show that people who drink tea on a regular basis lower their risk of heart disease and have healthier blood vessels. Instead of warming up with some hot cocoa, go with the heart-healthy choice of tea this winter.

-The Right Portions

One of the most common things you’ll hear around the new year is a renewed dedication to losing weight. Winter provides a great opportunity to get a jumpstart on this new year’s resolution when you take this time to make sure you have your portions under control. This is especially important as we head into the holidays, where many people eat, drink, and be merry, sometimes to excess. You can find more information about portion control in this handy resource from WebMD.

-Exercise Inside

It can be a difficult adjustment if your normal exercise routine involves a lot of outdoor activities, but there’s a lot you can do to stay active when the temperature drops. Whether you’re doing laps at the local indoor pool or you’re joining a yoga class, it’s important to find ways to continue your fitness regimen through the winter. When it gets colder out, it can be easy to fall into a sedentary trap. You can fight back by joining a group exercise class that gets you out of the house and socializing with others. This is a big way to fend off the feelings of cabin fever many people can develop towards the end of the year.

-Less Sitting

Something that has become more clear in recent years is the detrimental effects extended periods of sitting can have on our health. Not only can it cause issues with blood flow and circulation, in extreme circumstances, it can cause your muscles to begin to atrophy. We know how easy it is to plant yourself on the couch when you see the clouds darken the sky, but there are ways you can still veg out while sitting less. Whether you do some light stretching while watching your favorite show or you make sure you take the dog for a walk every day, it’s important to move around as much as you can to keep your blood pumping.

Staying healthy can be pretty tough when it gets cold out. While humans don’t naturally hibernate, it’s easy for people to fall into the traps of storing extra food and becoming more sedentary. Keep these tips in mind as we head into the winter to stay healthy and active, as they’ll all help you fend off potential heart disease. If you would like more information about improving your cardiovascular health, call the Cardio Metabolic Institute of New Jersey. We have locations in Somerset, Monroe TWP, and East Brunswick. We hope to hear from you soon.