Read on for our top ten tips for staying active during the colder months.
As the temperatures drop and the days shorten, the urge to hibernate can be overwhelming. However, all the evidence points to the importance of keeping fit and active over winter. Sticking with your fitness regime means you won’t undo all the good work you put in over the summer and the endorphins released are the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Even better, the more calories you burn, the more relaxed you can be about enjoying the occasional treat.
1. Wake up
It’s dark. It’s cold. The walk from your bed to the shower is the toughest thing you’ll do all day. But that means it can only get better. Try a ‘wake-up’ light that gradually increases the brightness in your bedroom to wake you up naturally, or set your alarm as your favourite workout song.
2. Buddy up
Agree to meet someone for a run or a gym session and you’re much less likely to bail. If team sports are your thing, find a local group and commit to regular sessions. The promise of social interaction can give you the nudge you need to lace up your trainers and get out there. What’s more, sweating out the stress of the day with a friend is a guaranteed mood booster.
3. Get the kit
If you’re exercising outside over winter, you need good kit. New workout clothes or a shiny new pair of running shoes can help motivate you. Choose high-performance fabrics to keep you warm and dry, and go for bright colours as it is particularly important to be visible in the darker months1.
4. Explore more
Winter is beautiful, and finding new places to train and new routes to take can turn into a mini adventure right on your doorstep. Break free of your well-worn routes and the time will fly past - you might even discover your new favourite workout spot.
5. Enjoy a winter sport
Some of the most exciting sports are only possible in the winter, so make the most of it. Even if you’re not lucky enough to head to the slopes for a skiing holiday, there is plenty of UK-based seasonal fun to be had. Grab some friends and head to an outdoor ice rink – you’ll work your leg muscles and have a laugh at the same time.
6. Head indoors
There are plenty of great workouts you can do inside, where your fitness regime doesn’t have to be affected by the weather. Get in the gym, join a basketball team, or try something new such as trampolining. It may also be useful to warm-up inside, even if you are planning to head out. Do some star jumps in your living room and you’ll be invigorated to take on the cold.
7. Broadcast it
Fitness apps help you track your progress and share successes over social media. This is a great way to stay motivated at the best of times, but you’ll get even more respect for your discipline when it’s cold outside.
8. Remove obstacles
Don’t make it easy for yourself to make excuses. The more obstacles between you and your fitness goals, the more likely you will be to find a reason not to do it. Keep workout gear in your bag or incorporate exercise into your day – by walking to work for example.
9. Set long-term goals
In summer, you may have a race or competition that you are training for. These immediate goals are very easy to get motivated for, but winter training is just as vital for those successful race days. The winter months are ideal for base training such as long runs or UT2 swim sets. The wider the base, the higher the pyramid, i.e. the more conditioned your body is, the harder you will be able to push yourself come summer2.
10. Set short-term goals
Set small challenges to help you stay positive in the meantime. Whether it’s adding an extra mile to your run or an extra weight to the leg press, celebrate the little victories and you’ll be keen to achieve the next one.
Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to stay fit and well over winter. BMI Healthcare can help you take charge of your wellbeing with a comprehensive Health Assessment.
To book your consultation call us on 0808 101 0337.