By Lianna Grillo
Working out and eating healthy are important factors to living a balanced life. Although going for a jog or bike ride outdoors can be difficult when the ground is either covered in snow or the temperature is extremely low, Sacred Heart University has the William H. Pitt Center for cold weather recreation.
According to Mayoclinic.com, working out is proven to enhance your mood, boost your energy, promote better sleep and combat health conditions and disease. However, you might assume that the colder the weather, the less your motivation to go to the gym might be. Sacred Heart students have mixed feelings towards that idea, and some stay very motivated while others do not.
“I go to the gym every morning at 6am before class,” said sophomore Marissa Percivalle. “I need to go, because I want to stay fit all year round.”
“My motivation to eat healthy and stay active during the winter months comes from within,” said senior Marissa Gavilan. “I set goals for myself that I want to achieve in a certain amount of time. If I’m looking to lose weight or tone up, I find that having a timeline helps me achieve my goals better. For instance, in three weeks, I’ll see a difference.”
There are many different gyms around the Fairfield area such as Orangetheory Fitness, Planet Fitness, LA Fitness and others. Many students are now interested in kickboxing, cycling and Zumba to stay fit.
“In the winter I put the heat higher in my room, so in the morning my room is warm and it is easier to get out of bed,” said Percivalle. “I also feel extremely guilty when I don’t go to the gym and think about all the junk food I ate.”
“I would say staying active and eating healthy during the winter is super important, because it gives you more energy that the bad weather sort of takes away,” said senior Deanna Kosmalski. “If you allow yourself to be strict with your exercise and healthy habits for three days, it becomes so much easier and you’ll end up finding that you’re not going to want to stop because you feel so good.”
The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests a few ways to keep fit in the winter. They recommend, instead of taking the elevator or escalator, to take the stairs, and rather than curling up in a blanket on your couch to watch a movie, watch a workout video instead and follow along.
“I barely go to the gym in the winter,” said sophomore Anna Iasevoli. “I have too long of a walk to the Pitt Center and I would rather just be under a blanket snuggling in my room.”
Eating healthy in the winter can also be tough, According to Pubmed.gov, Daily caloric intake was higher in the fall compared to the spring, and the lowest physical activity level was observed in the winter and the highest was in the spring.
“If I’m just looking to eat healthy and feel good, I tend to meal prep, especially in the winter months,” said Gavilan. “I find that this keeps me motivated because the school week gets hectic and it’s easier to just grab something unhealthy in between classes when I have nothing prepared. If I meal prep on Sunday for the entire week, all my meals are ready and I have no excuse not to eat healthy.”