Chilly weather and grey skies can make it much harder to find the motivation to hit the gym. However, winter exercise is important for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Regular exercise keeps your energy levels high, releases tension, and prevents low moods. Those post-exercise endorphins are such a great way to banish the ‘winter blues’. Exercise also promotes a strong, healthy immune system, so you have a better chance of getting through cold and ‘flu season without catching a troublesome winter bug.
Indoor vs Outdoor Workouts
We know it’s tempting to stay indoors with the extra heating, but outdoor winter exercise can be much more beneficial. Jogging, walking and cycling will get you out in the fresh air, away from the germs that are circulating indoors. Plus you’ll be left feeling invigorated and refreshed.
In cases where the weather is just too bad to risk venturing outdoors, you can still easily enjoy an indoor workout at home or the gym. You can also sign up for a fun, action-packed indoor sport, like squash.
Top Winter Exercise Safety Tips
- Take 5-10 minutes to warm up indoors. A proper warm-up will help to prevent strains and injuries, which can easily occur when your muscles are cold.
- Start slowly and gradually, and avoid stopping suddenly. This will prevent sudden, dangerous increases or drops in your body temperature.
- Exercise at the time of day when winter temperatures are at their warmest, i.e. daylight hours (mid-morning or afternoon are the best times for this).
- Dress in lightweight layers, so you can stay warm and dry but avoid overheating.
- In very cold or windy weather, be sure to protect your extremities (hands, ears, nose) with gloves and a lightweight, breathable scarf.
- You might not feel hot and thirsty like you do in summer, but it’s important to stay hydrated in winter too, by drinking lots of fresh water.
- Do cool-down exercises indoors afterwards, to prevent your body temperature from dropping too quickly.
Exercising in colder temperatures burns more kilojoules, so a great winter exercise regime will give you a fit and toned summer body. Wishing you all a healthy, happy and active winter!
Bode, L. Winter exercise tips. Retrieved from: http://thyroid.about.com/b/2005/12/01/winter-exercise-tips.htm
How to exercise in winter weather. Retrieved from: http://www.wikihow.com/Exercise-in-Winter-Weather
How to keep working out in the winter. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-to-keep-working-out-in-winter