As the nights draw in and the weather becomes cold and dreary, we turn away from being active bunnies and start being hedgehogs in hibernation. It is only natural that we feel this way, given that effect that the seasons have us. But just because it is winter, doesn’t mean your body (and mind) doesn’t need the exercise to keep you fit and healthy.
In fact, it is super beneficial that you workout through the colder seasons, as your body will thrive off your elevated heart rate, speeding up your metabolism, protecting your body against viruses and keeps you warmer for longer – this definitely gets an extra bonus point for me.
Plus, one huge factor that will encourage those of you who are struggling to make a positive change when it comes to exercising more and eating healthy, is that working out in the cold, actually burns more calories than working out in the warmer weather – so those extra lattes or mince pies can be allowed (but remember moderation!).
So here is my simple workout survival guide to get you through this winter:
Goal Set and Match!
Having something to work towards is so helpful at keeping you working on a positive lifestyle for yourself. Give yourself some winter goals to work towards, whether that be hitting the gym three times a week, getting involved in classes that are available in your local area, or a personal goal like mine, which is to increase my overall strength!
Switch it up
We loose all the motivation in the world when we have shorter days, darker nights, and generally feeling cold most of the time. So it is a great idea to do something different than your usual session. Why not try a new style of workout? Book yourself into a new class and test your abilities in new ways to see what you are capable of. Instead of hitting 12-15reps, drop it down and focus on building strength up doing 6-8 reps. Or you could include some HIIT into your program;now that would get your fire burning!
Basically, now is the best time to test different things and see if you like it or not. Your focus changes when learning something new which will help to push you on.
Buddy up with someone else and get yourselves working together towards your goals. As they say, two heads are better than one! Plus having somebody else with you, makes the time go so much quicker! But don’t stand around gossiping for too long, save that for when you are chowing down your post-workout meal.
Warm Up Well
Our bodies will be adapting to the lowered temperatures, which means that it will take that little bit longer for us to be ready to smash a workout. Make sure that you take some more time out before your main session, to thoroughly warm your muscles up – trust me you will thank me for it!
As I mentioned previously, exercising in the cold actually burns off more calories than in the warmer weather. So that is definitely a great reason to step outside and go on a lovely long walk in the countryside or around your local park. My best tip for doing this is to wrap up, turn your phone on to airplane mode and listen to your favourite music or an inspiring podcast whilst you enjoy your surroundings.
Rest is sometimes Best
Make sure that you get your forty winks so that you are energised throughout the festive season. With so much going on, the temperature dropping, and the days going darker more quickly, we can all suffer more from fatigue and grow tired easily. Set yourself a reminder about an hour before you need to go to bed, and start to wind down, stopping any work and switching as much technology off as possible (this is such a huge problem for me!).
So there you have it, just a few tips to maintain a healthy and active routine whilst you experience the most wonderful time of the year!
If you have any words of wisdom of your own, please feel free to leave your comments below, as I would like to hear more about what help your guys say on track in winter.