PORTLAND -- Many of us struggle to get out of bed in the morning as the weather gets colder, and it’s even harder to find the motivation to exercise.
But a change in weather shouldn’t mean a change in your healthy lifestyle. Experts say it’s important to keep those healthy summer habits alive all year long.
“I think we know we feel better when we're active, when we're outside more," said registered dietitian Valerie Edwards.
She encourages her patients at Providence Portland Medical Center to keep a regular exercise routine and eat fresh fruits and vegetables no matter what the weather.
“A great way to make a bunch of vegetables in the winter is to roast them,” Edwards suggested.
The winter veggies do take a little more effort to cook than the summer treats typically found at the local farmers market.
Edwards is not surprised that people overload on “comfort” foods in the fall and winter, but she says there are plenty of options that are tasty and more nutritious.
“We can balance those urges by making a hearty soup, but also including a lot of vegetables in it,” she said.
Her advice: eat light, eat often, drink plenty of water and get plenty of exercise.
It’s going to be cloudy, cool and rainy for the next several months in the Pacific Northwest. If you want to keep a good fitness routine, Edwards said you have to find a way to work with the weather. She suggests a gym membership or investing in some rain gear to walk outside.
Edwards also said it’s important to make sure vitamin D is in your diet. Check with your doctor to see what kind of supplements you should be taking. Vitamin D is found in foods like fish, eggs and milk. It can help prevent chronic diseases and protect your bones, teeth and hair.