By Catherine Cunningham

For one reason or another, we crave junk food when the weather is cold. The ovens stay busy baking cakes, grandma’s cookies are readily available every weekend, and a going out for a “bite to eat” turns out being a three-course meal for one.

Not only can the indulging get out of hand, but one’s motivation tends to go from 100 to zero as soon as the temperature drops. The couch feels softer, your sweatpants yearn your presence, and the slippers never seem to leave your feet.

But how is it that we find it easier to maintain a somewhat healthier lifestyle when the sun is shining and the weather is warm? I, for one, do not have the answer to that.

But I do have tips. Here are a few simple steps to follow when attempting to stay healthy this winter:

1. Get a gym membership. The beauty of a gym membership is that you can workout any time of the day, everyday. If you are one to be spur-of-the-moment, look into subscribing to a 24-hour gym (RockStar Gym is a great spot) for those nights when you regret dessert and want to do something about it.

2. Fill your dinner plate with as much color as you can. Although the winter is much different than the summer in the sense that there are not as many accessible vegetables, they still exist! Try to give your plate some life by grabbing three or four veggies from the fridge and cooking them however you like.

3. Drink tea. There is only so much hot chocolate one can drink. The next time you’re on the hunt for a warm, satisfying beverage, resort to a simple green or peppermint tea. These drinks are not only warm, but they have health benefits by the sip.

4. Look for alternative recipes. Even though there is nothing like a homemade batch of chocolate chip cookies, there are ways to make your next indulgence a healthy one! Try out websites like Pinterest, allrecipes.com, or honestlyheathlyfood.com.

5. Be adventurous outside. Admit it, we all love to play in the snow. This winter, be inventive and do a little more than sledding. Try never before activities to make the cold not seem so cold. This website hosts some great, original ideas; http://www.oddee.com/item_99252.aspx.

Feeling healthy this winter is all about personal preference. So, whether it’s going to the gym, eating healthy meals, or building the world’s largest snowman, do whatever it takes to feel good while the snow falls and the temperature drops!

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