Although winter is great for rugging up and staying in bed, winter is also time when many people pack-in the exercise regimes and regrettably, pack-on the extra weight. Just because it’s gloomy outside, doesn’t mean you should let the weather put a damper on your fitness program. By following these simple tips, you’ll feel fresh, energised and ready to hit the beach without a second thought by the time summer comes around. Jason T Smith, Author of Get yourself Back in Motion and founder of the Back In Motion Health Group shares the six tips on how you can stay warm this winter.
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Why exercise shouldn’t stop at winter:
Exercise is a vital component of healthy living. Not only does it help balance your weight, but it also has many proven mental health benefits. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which triggers positive feelings in the body and enhances your overall mood. Regular physical activity also enhances your energy levels, increase concentration, and helps to alleviate stress.
Feeling too cold? Exercising in winter promotes blood flow through your body which contributes to healthier tissue and enhances your circulation, thereby helping to keep you warm.
Why it is important to warm up before exercising, especially in winter:
When your muscles are cold, you are more susceptible to injury. It is important to make sure you stretch and warm up adequately before commencing your work-out to avoid muscle stiffness, joint pain and injuries that can be easily avoided. Spend between five and ten minutes practicing gentle whole body aerobics such as walking, riding a stationary bike or light jogging until your muscles feel warm. Stretching is also important as it increased flexibility which allows a greater range of motion in the body and reduces the chance of injury.
Six tips on how to stay warm this winter:
Beat the cold:
If the cold weather is a putting you off exercising, try hitting the gym or partaking in an indoor fitness class. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, choose times (such as the middle of the day or during your lunch break) when the sun is out and the temperatures are a little warmer.
Choose sports clothing that insulates the body and keeps your muscles warm. It’s a good idea to wear layers while exercising too, as this allows your body to adjust to its varying temperature, particularly at the beginning and end of your workout.
The importance of stretching:
Stretching relaxes the tension in your muscles and helps to prevent injuries. Make sure you warm up and cool down before and after exercise to reduce stiffness.
Work out with friends:
Team sports are a good way to socialise and keep warm with friends during the colder months. A doubles tennis game or a soccer match are good options for a full-body aerobic workout.
Bikram yoga, Pilates or other indoor activities such as indoor netball are good ways to exercise without the cold factor. If you choose an indoor exercise that you enjoy, you won’t even notice the weather outside!
Do it with a friend:
To maintain motivation and stay accountable, make a deal with a friend to commit to a regular activity once a week. Then there’s no excuse to hit the snooze button!
In the gloomy, cold months, exercise will also keep your spirits high. It is also important to continue exercising throughout winter to maintain fitness levels and to ensure that all your hard work from summer doesn’t fade away along with your motivation.
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