Exercising in winter is almost more important and beneficial than any other time of year, yet most of us prefer to hibernate and curl up rather than get warm the natural way, by sweating it out with a great workout!
Top 3 reasons to exercise in winter:
- Strengthening the immune system.
By increasing the production of white blood cells that helps to fight off cold and flu, exercising in winter means you’re working on your internal defence system along with your muscles, bones, cardiac and respiratory system and figure!
- Beating winter blues.
A daily workout releases feel-good chemicals, cheering you up in the ‘bluer’ months, helping also to ease depression.
- Avoiding winter weight gain.
In spring it will be much harder it is to get back into shape rather than maintain your fitness throughout the winter.
Tips for exercising in winter:
- Maintain fluid intake!
Yes, you may not feel like you want water, but you need it as much as ever in winter. Heating dehydrates us, the cold weather stimulating urine production, and every breath you can see is water droplets being exhaled from your body.
Layer up, wear a vest, put on a beanie! We lose most heat from our heads, so cover it up! When you exercise, we sweat, when cold air hits sweat, we get cold. Wear breathable long sleeved clothing and/or a vest to keep the core of your body and internal organs protected!
- Make use of the daylight.
Everyone complains about the short days and not having daylight to exercise in before or after work, so grab a scarf and go for a lunch break walk in the sunshine or schedule outdoor activities for the middle of the days on weekends.
- Focus on or reset your goals.
The weather is cold, the days are short and dark, motivation is lacking, remind yourself what you want to achieve and why and come back to what is more important when you go to choose the couch over the gym or the pudding over the herbal tea!
- Do an extended warm-up.
Our bodies are colder and stiffer in winter. Be sure to warm up adequately to prevent injury.
- Go straight to the gym from work.
Then you have no time to get cosy and make excuses. And then once your home, you can rug up and relax feeling proud and ready for a good nights sleep.
- Schedule in sessions with a trainer and/or friend.
That way you’ll follow through and have someone alongside you motivating you!
- Stick to what you like.
If you don’t want to run, don’t. Motivation is typically low in winter, so why waste energy trying to psych yourself up for something you’re dreading? Then you’re even less likely to do it. Go to a fun class if that’s your thing or do an exercise DVD at home.
- Try Bikram Yoga
I may be biased as I love Bikram, but what better way that beating the cold and escaping the weather by venturing into the hot room? A great way to build up a good sweat and detox. Its benefits are as vast as increased energy to improved digestion and decreased stress levels.
- Exercise at home.
Yes it sometimes isn’t motivating to go running in the dark or rain, or for some even to get to the gym, so create your own workout at home. Below is a basic circuit you can do in your lounge room in front of the telly watching your favourite tv show!
10 minute circuit!
(Do as many times as you can)
Do each exercise for 60 seconds and have a 10 second break between exercises
Fast feet/high knee combo
Star jumps/split jump (forward shuffle) combo
Stay Fabulous This Winter!
Mobile Personal Training Specialist
4 U Body Fitness