Winter is coming and, with it, the season of eating; or should I say, overeating.

Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas and all the celebrations in between, not to mention the added desire for comfort foods to warm us up and the higher instances overeating caused from depression due to lack of sunlight. Then there is the tendency to follow the role of the bear and hibernate in the winter months.

Boy, sounds like we have no hope over the next few long months.

But wait, you can stay healthy, in shape and out of depression. All we have to do is find what motivates you to stay healthy and focus on being active.

Have you tried your new activity of the year yet?

Each new season brings new sports to try. Take advantage of the beautiful area we live in and take up cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, telemark skiing and snowboarding. Or take these sports off the ski hill and into the back country and add in hiking and snowshoeing.

Just be sure to practise with someone experienced with winter sports, for safety, especially in the backcountry. Even better, take actual lessons and you’ll be more likely to enjoy the new sport.

There is some indoor programming that will help you get your body prepared for outdoor sports. Classes such as boot camp, winter conditioning and any sort of core-conditioning classes will help you prepare your body for new activities. You’ll have less chance of being too sore and have less chance of injury, which are both sure fire ways to set yourself up for failure, disappointment and just pure “un-enjoyment” of your new sport.

Not an outdoorsy kind of person?

Try a new indoor activity or take up a sport you enjoyed in the past. There are non-competitive soccer, hockey, volleyball and basketball leagues. You can try tennis lessons, rock-climbing lessons, swimming lessons. The sky’s the limit!

Or, if sports are not your thing, try a new group fitness class. Don’t be worried if you have two left feet; there are plenty of classes that challenge your body without the need for co-ordination.

You’re almost out of excuses here.

If you don’t like group stuff and you don’t like sports and you don’t know what to do in the gym and you think you can’t afford a personal trainer, try a small-group personal training class. It is way less expensive than one-on-one.

It’s a small group (usually less than five people). You will be so busy training that you won’t even notice you’re with three other people and it can cost a third of a private training session.

Now, let’s touch on your winter eating habits for one second.

Winter is no excuse to gain weight. There are plenty of healthy meals that are very satisfying. Find a great cookbook. There happens to be another new one that I love: Tosca Reno’s new Clean Eating Cookbook.

It just came out and it is full of fabulous meals that you can cook at home, portion, package, freeze, thaw and eat. I’ll go into winter eating habits a bit more in the next article.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions. I’m listening!

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE-certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at www.pkfitness.yk.ca/Clients. Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.