Ah, winter! The perfect season to wrap yourself up in layers and find some cosy spots to enjoy some hearty meals! But just because it is winter does not mean that exercise needs to be thrown out… Fitness is about consistency. Here are some tips to stay in (or get into) top tip shape!
One of the great things about winter is climbing onto a couch with comfort food in front of a warm roaring fire. While there is nothing wrong with this, it is critical to maintain your exercise regime even if it’s cold.
For example, after work if you usually run, try to stick to that. If the weather is wet, and potentially dangerous for a run, look towards alternatives such as home exercises. All you need is a mat and a phone – there are a variety of home fitness apps suited for different intensity levels etc.
Join a hot yoga class
Yes, heading to the gym is a bit of a schlep in the cold, but if you are heading into a warm environment this might be a bit more of a motivation.
Hot yoga is yoga in a heated room and can include a variety of poses as per the instructor’s call. While used interchangeably, hot yoga and Bikram yoga are different – Bikram yoga is done in a heated room and consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises.
It should be noted that hot yoga is intense as your heart, muscles, and lungs are working harder.
Take a hike
Provided the weather is not wet and trails are not slippery, hiking in winter is a great way to exercise as the heat is not bad. Additionally, hiking can be a social activity – invite some friends or join a hiking club.
For beginner hikers, it’s advisable to start with shorter routes, which are relatively flat. Also critical is to make sure you plan your route and alert a friend or family where you have gone with an estimated time of when you will be back in case of an emergency.
Be fabric smart: In winter it’s advisable to dress in multiple layers, which you can remove according to your temperature:
- Inner layer made of synthetic fabric to help you stay dry
- A middle layer of a light fleece fabric to keep you warm
- An outer layer that is waterproof to help against natural elements
Foot gear: Choose the correct walking shoes and socks to help keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable. In wet weather opt for shoes that have good traction to prevent you from slipping.
Be sun smart: Even if cold, you still need to protect yourself against harmful UV rays – so wear a hat, sunglasses and use sunscreen.
Did you know?
Exercising in cooler temperatures can also cause dehydration. Cooler temperatures diminish thirst by up to about 40% – but just because you don’t feel thirsty does not mean you are not. Hydrate as per usual when exercising. According to reports, it’s advisable to sip rather than guzzle water which helps to ensure that your cells stay more hydrated and transports nutrients more efficiently.
Did you know?
Asthma can be exacerbated by cold and dry air – so be extra cautious!