When winter is upon us, our motivation to exercise and keep active tends to drop along with the temperature.
We all know the positive health benefits that come with exercise. It can help you to manage stress, prevent chronic health conditions, help you feel better about yourself, help you get a better night’s sleep, help to manage anger and improves your metabolic rate, which helps prevent weight gain.
However, when it comes to prying ourselves out of our nice warm beds in the morning to go for an early morning run or getting us to leave our comfortable spot on the lounge near the warm and toasty heater to hit the gym, we tend to lose sight of these health merits.
The best way to stay motivated is to enlist the help of a friend. It’s always more fun to exercise with a buddy and when you are accountable to someone else you are much more likely to stick to your exercise plans.
You also need to mix up your exercise, find sports or activities that are fun and interesting and have alternate plans in case of ill weather.
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There are many ways to rework your exercise schedule to fit the season. Consider these options:
Walking: If you find the mornings too cold and frosty to go out for a walk then schedule your walk later in the day. If you work, take your walking shoes and go for a brisk walk in your lunch break.
Swimming: While outdoor swimming may be completely out of the question, there are many indoor heated swimming pools, many of which offer you a hot shower after your swim. Lap swimming or aqua aerobics are great for fitness.
Join a gym: This is a great option in winter because you don’t need to worry about the weather. Many gyms offer a vast array of programs, classes and personal training so you can keep some variety in your workout.
Indoor team sport: There are many team sports such as cricket, basketball, netball or soccer that are played at indoor sports centres. Team sports are also a great way to meet new people and being part of a team helps to keep you motivated.
Hit the slopes: Embrace the cold by heading to the snowfields. Snowboarding or skiing is an excellent cardio workout that will get your heart rate up and burn calories.
Try something different: Winter is the perfect time to give something a go that you’ve never tried before. Visit an indoor trampoline arena (some run fitness sessions), try indoor rock climbing, go ice-skating, arm yourself for a round of laser tag or join an online interactive fitness program like iBoxing.
With a little bit of thought, it is possible to change your exercise program to suit the weather and ensure your fitness levels are maintained during winter. You may even find a new sport or activity that you really enjoy.