You may think that, unless you’re a member of a gym, keeping fit in the winter is too difficult once the temperatures drop. This needn’t be the case – there are plenty of ways to keep fit without suffering unduly.
Walking – all you need is decent footwear and to wrap up a bit if it’s particularly chilly. Walking helps to burn calories, increases blood flow and gives the heart and lungs a decent workout – it’s accentuated if you try power walking. Maybe set a time goal to keep to?
Once you’ve done the hard work to pass your driving test you might well be tempted to take your car everywhere – but save this for the longer trips or those that require you to travel along dimly lit back roads.
It’s also worth getting out for a walk during the day at work when possible – during your lunch break for example. Exposure to sunlight and vitamin D inevitably drops in the winter, so if you can grab at least some sunlight it’s helpful – and a walk during the working day will do you good, getting you away from the desk for a few minutes so that you can clear your head.
Running and jogging – again, a very simple way of keeping fit, this gives you a good cardio vascular workout and – like walking – helps boost your mood and reduce stress.
More preparation is usually required compared to jogging in the spring and summer. Warm up properly, ensure you have enough layers that can be removed as you warm up and, if you’re jogging in dimly lit areas don’t forget to wear something reflective.
Swimming – indoor pools mean it makes no difference what season it is, so visit your local swimming pool a couple of times a week for a great overall body workout.
Pilates – a very popular way of exercising and building strength in core muscles. It’s a good idea to take a few classes first to learn the techniques and then you can carry on your good work at home too,
Basic exercises – there are any number of exercises that can be undertaken at home without the need for specialist equipment. Popular exercises such as squats, crunches and press-ups would make a good and simple workout.
Even walking briskly up and down the stairs is worthwhile.
Home workouts – these can be simple ten minute workouts or more longer and more involved types. From doing some pilates and yoga to maybe running on the spot, you can almost replicate a gym workout if you have equipment at home such as a cross trainer, running machine and weights.
Cycling – this is an excellent form of exercise to work muscles and for aerobic fitness. Take care in low light conditions again, making sure you wear the right clothes and have your lights on.
Sport – keep playing
You may be tempted to stop playing sports such as golf and bowls in the winter, but it may be worth continuing. Bowls switches to indoor in the winter, of course, and while some days golf courses are closed due to bad weather they mostly stay open all year round.
While playing winter golf may not always be as pleasurable as the warmer months, it’s still good walking exercise and you’re getting plenty of fresh air. Meanwhile, most other sports naturally continue in winter, either unaffected by the chill or indoors.
Importance of year round exercise
Exercising in the winter is important as it’s good for ‘keeping the ball rolling’ rather than stopping and having to start your regime again when the weather improves. All too often people set ambitious goals when the weather warms up only to find it a bit daunting. If you’ve kept exercising through the winter, even at a lower level, you’ll already be in good shape for when the spring comes round again.