Exercising during Winter
Here’s a few ways to keep your fitness routine going
Daylight Savings has ended, you’re waking up in the dark, coming home from work in the dark and that couch is starting to feel awfully inviting, the last thing you are thinking about is exercising during winter.
We are entering that phase of the year where, for many, exercise become less frequent, gym visits less regular, reduction in outdoor activities for recreation and fitness.
All our well earned summer gains, or losses, due to eating healthier and exercising more in the warmth, are making plans to hibernate for the winter. We’ll find ourselves back here in October or November feeling like we have to start all over again.
We all have that friend (perhaps it’s us) who laments, each year, those few extra kilograms gained over winter while we were rugged up and nobody would notice. For those who are trying to manage their weight, these next few months can be a battle.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, with some common sense approaches and a bit of planning, you can keep the momentum going.
Here’s a few tips from the team at Global Fitness Institute to help you stay on track with your fitness journey and keep you exercising during Winter.
Ok, its sounds pretty logical, but some people use the inclement weather as an excuse not to exercise at all. There are lots of indoor exercise options including going to Group Fitness classes, joining a gym, taking up an indoor recreation activity or sport such as martial arts, or dance etc. Get yourself a Personal Trainer who will continue to push you through the chilly months towards your fitness goals.
Exercise at Home
If you don’t like the idea of getting all sweaty with the masses, you can do lots of exercise routines at home without the need to purchase expensive equipment. Follow along with a Yoga, Pilates or Aerobics DVD or streamed video clip, or join one of the many classes that are still running virtually post COVID19. If you have that weight set or exercise bike sitting in the garage, now’s the time to dust it off and find a corner of the house to dedicate to exercise.
Wear warm clothes
Again, it sounds logical, but if exercising outdoors is your preferred option, then dress accordingly. Invest in some warm hoodies and track pants and even waterproof jackets so that you can still go for that jog or cycle without turning blue. Grab a beanie, some warm gloves and even a scarf and you’ll be as warm as toast before you know it. Remember exercise generates heat, so its the getting started that is the most difficult part.
Imagine how boring life would be if it were the same weather conditions all the time, it would be like Groundhog Day. Whilst most people prefer the warmer months, where they can enjoy outdoors for socializing and recreation, perhaps embrace mother nature’s climatic fluctuations and just go with it.
Take in the scenery around you while you powerwalk, jog or ride through the frosty fields, with leafless trees enjoying a bit of down time themselves, until they all come back to explode in bloom next Spring.
Recruit an accountability buddy
If nobody depends on us, the decision to stay on the couch with your hot cocoa and onesie is an easier one. Team up with a buddy who has similar fitness goals to yourself and keep each other accountable. Whether it’s to exercise together at home, go to the gym or class, or to brace the elements, its always easier and more likely to happen when you have a partner to go with.
Don’t overeat during winter
Sometimes out loss of condition during the winter months is a double edged sword. We combined a decrease in exercise with an increase in warmer foods, cooked meals, less fruits and salads that we enjoyed in summer. The net result is we store more energy than we use, and that gets stored as fat, jiggling around your midriff until the sun returns.
So be sure to adjust your eating habits to your exercise habits. If you want to exercise less, then trim the kilojoules. Of course, if you love your food as much as I do, just ensure that you keep exercising during Winter.
Good nutrition is critical during the colder months where it’s easier just to grab something hot, fast and convenient but often packed with kilojoules and saturated fats and not necessarily nutritious.
You burn more energy when you’re cold
We all know how we start to shiver when we’re feeling chilly, that’s the body’s way of generating heat to keep you warm. That process requires energy, energy comes from burning kilojoules. Whilst it might be only a modest consolation, the body generally burns more kilojoules trying to get and stay warm, so brave the cold and think about those extra kj’s your burning up.
Get outside, your body needs sunlight
We know that we need exposure to the sun to get our Vitamin D, albeit their isn’t as much bright warm sun in winter, but there are usually a few minutes of the sun’s rays during the daylight hours, even when its cold, and that’s all you need. Vitamin D is needed to keep your body functioning well. Vitamin D helps with strong bones and may help prevent some cancers. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include muscle weakness, pain, fatigue and depression.
So rug up, warm up, get out there and keep moving. Or alternatively, stay inside and work up a sweat in the warmth and comfort of your lounge. Either way, both options will ensure you keep exercising during winter and stay on track with your fitness goals.