Don’t let the cold weather kill off healthy lifestyle habits

THE days are colder and shorter, everyone seems to be sniffling and sneezing and those hot chocolates go down just a bit too easily.

Winter can be a trying time both mentally and physically - but by being proactive Fraser Coast residents can ensure they stay sniffle-free and in good shape for the approaching warmer weather.

We spoke to Maryborough gym owner and elite mountain-biker Mel Behrens for her tips for supercharging your winter wellness.

It's hard to get motivated when it's cold and dark when you wake up in the morning and cold and dark when you get home from work.

Instead of ditching your exercise routine completely, Mel recommends getting in as much incidental exercise as possible.

"Use your lunch break as an opportunity to go for a walk," she said.

"Do some living room workouts. For example - every time there's an ad break on the TV do squats, push ups or mountain climbers until the break is over."

During the colder months it's easy to indulge in high-calorie comfort food. Keep the kilos off and your immune system in shape by eating a healthy diet.

"We have great vegies in season around this time of year," Mel said.

"They fill you up and they're low in kilojoules - just avoid your starchy vegies like potatoes."

Mel recommends trading calorie-dense meals such as heavy pasta and rice dishes for lighter low-fat dishes with fresh vegies and lean meat such as fish or chicken.

Proper hydration is essential in winter - whether you work outdoors or indoors. It's actually easier to become dehydrated in winter because the thirst response reacts differently when we are not sweating in the heat.

Aim to drink about one-and-a-half litres of water a day.

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