Staying Active This Winter

Staying motivated during winter is tough and as the temperature drops and the dark nights roll in we tend to skip our regular workouts and swap running shoes for ugg boots!

As tempting as it is to binge on TV programmes,  it is very important to maintain your exercise routine during the winter months as regular exercise is great for the body and the mind. Some people can experience mild depression  during winter as our exposure to sunlight decreases, however,  spending  time outdoors in the fresh air can reduce the symptoms, making an outdoor workout  even more important. It also helps prevent any winter weight gain from all the carb heavy foods we indulge in over the winter months. 

We share our tips to stay active and warm this winter.

Have the right kit

If you're determined to stay active this winter then invest in some winter workout gear.  Dress in layers of thermals, long pants, warm hoodies and even gloves if you train outdoors. A hat is also great for staying warm during your workout as about a third of your body's heat can escape through your head.

Opt for bright colours if you are outdoors in the evening, as its hard for drivers to see you in the dark.

Double your warm up

Spend a bit longer on your warm up during winter,  and aim for around 20 minutes to get blood flowing and reduce your risk of injury. Start your exercise routine slowly and build up to more rigorous exercises. Do not skip the cool down either as it is important for recovery.

Take it indoors

If the weather outside is frightful, then take your workout indoors. Not a gym member? then choose an online exercise program like Sweaty Betty  which has some fantastic free short videos you can do at home, or  Fitness Blender  who have workouts of all different lengths and configurations so you can choose the one that suits you.

Stay hydrated

Ever noticed that you make more toilet trips during the winter? Cold weather stimulates urine production and so it is important to drink lots of water. Dehydration can make you lethargic and reach for the remote rather than the runners, so keep your water consumption as high as summer. Aim for 8 glasses a day to stay hydrated and energised.  

Short is sweet

If your motivation and the light are fading fast then remember that short workouts have value too.  Just 10 minutes of interval training is as effective as a 50 minute moderate exercise session according to a recent study.  Swimming, jumping jacks and running can all be turned into interval exercises.   Read our article for examples of short workouts here.

Don't get waylaid this winter, get your gear on and get moving. Your summer self with thank-you!