Cold winters can be hard for some recent quitters. Family holiday meals, shoveling snow and cloudy skies could be stressful. For some, this may trigger the urge to light up a cigarette, making it hard to stick to your quit. On top of that, delicious holiday goodies and colder weather may make it harder to make healthier choices, making weight gain more likely.
Though it is true that some smokers gain weight when they quit, it doesn’t have to be true for you. Don’t let a fear of weight gain keep you from finding your healthier self this winter.
Winter is no reason to avoid quitting – there are so many fun things to do in the season to help stay active, and many healthy holiday food alternatives to try. From indoor exercises to delicious and nutritious recipes, read on for some of our “best-of” recommendations to help you stick to your quit and stay fit this winter.
Recognize Your Winter Stressors
First off, it’s a good idea to take note of upcoming winter activities and events. Think back on past winters and recall any situations that made you want to light up a cigarette. Perhaps you wanted a cigarette after a heavy Thanksgiving meal, ran into an old smoking buddy at a holiday party, or smoked while enjoying a New Year’s Eve beverage. Make a list of these times and places so you can plan to avoid them and manage the situation without cigarettes.
Enjoy Indoor Exercises for Any Weather
If you’re ready to get active and manage potential weight gain, don’t let the season keep you on the couch. There are many home-exercise routines you can do no matter the weather, at any time of day! Try something new by adding a short workout to your morning routine. It doesn’t have to be long – just be consistent. Maybe by the time spring rolls around, you’ll be ready to get active outside!
Try Winter Day Outdoor Activities
Some people love winter sports – from ice skating, skiing, snow-shoeing to just taking long walks in the crisp air, there are many great excuses to get outside and be active despite the cold or snow. Even shoveling snow is exercise! But before you partake in any new exercise, be sure to talk to your doctor about routines that are right for you.
Eat Healthier Holiday Foods
And finally, take your culinary skills for a test drive! Hosting or attending meals gives you a great chance to try some new recipes. Whether you’re making the main dish or dessert, you can provide a healthy option that also tastes great. Don’t be surprised if the other guests thank you for helping them eat healthfully as well.
Whether you’re worried about gaining weight, large family gatherings, or staying smokefree in the cold winter months, know that this season is just like any other. List your triggers and the situations when you have urges to smoke, then make a plan to help avoid or confront those moments as they arise. Use the tools you’ve learned to help you stay smokefree this winter – and for all the winters to come.