Stay active in the winter to beat the blues

Monday, October 07, 2019

Exercising in the cold or undertaking a winter workout might be the last thing on your mind when all you want to do it stay in the warm with a cup of tea and the latest episode of your favourite series.

However, staying active during winter doesn’t need to be chore, embracing the cold can help boost your energy levels and lead to a better immune system to help fight off any winter bugs.

Here’s our top tips on how to keep motivated this winter.

Try something new

If there’s a class at a gym or in your local area that you’ve had your eye on then bite the bullet and sign yourself up. Not only is the class inside (therefore no cold getting into those bones) but it’ll give you a positive boost for both trying something new and for exercising in the first place.

As wellness website Well+Good say: “Bottom line: If you’re going through your workout on autopilot, it’s time for you to try something new”.

>>Read how to boost your happiness and wellbeing

Work out at home

If you just can’t face leaving the warmth of your own home then how about trying a gym-free work out from the comfort of your lounge?

It doesn’t just have to be using a workout DVD like it once was, as fitness trainers and sports websites continually post quick workouts online, as well as a whole host on Instagram or full sessions on YouTube for you to follow.

Or if you have some equipment at home, such as weights or even a skipping rope, then do a quick 10 minutes in the morning and evening – it all helps count towards the NHS recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.

Embrace the cold

Don’t associate the cold with negative thoughts; instead see it as something positive.

A winter walk whilst you’re wrapped up warm can be good for the body and soul – not only will there be less people around (especially in the parks) but you’ll feel great afterwards. Perhaps try a walk with a treat of a warm drink in a local café or pub at the end to keep you motivated.

There’s plenty of natural beauty around that is waiting to be explored, the Telegraph highlighted 25 of their best winter walks which might help inspire you.

Planning ahead

It’s easy this time of year to overindulge, to buy all the Christmas treats you’re surrounded by at the tills and to eat and drink out with friends. But before you know it you’ve gone through 3 tins of Quality Street, enough mince pies and nuts to feed an army and a mountain of roast potatoes that replicates Ben Nevis.

But with a little planning ahead you can add small amounts of exercise into your day and create healthy, heartier meals that aren’t going to add to the winter bulge. As British Heart Foundation highlight: “A little more to eat coupled with a little less activity can add up to gradual weight gain that, come spring, can be a bigger problem to resolve.”

Don’t feel guilty about over-indulging in all the Christmas treats but instead bulk cook some meals and freeze portions ready for when you get home and don’t have the energy to cook from scratch.

On the days where you know you’re going to be eating more than normal, plan in some winter walking into your weekend or ask if any friends are free to meet up and walk the dogs. Could you perhaps walk to the shop instead of driving – every little bit of exercise helps not only the waistline but your mental wellbeing too.

Read more on how to improve your wellbeing and increase your levels of activity whatever the season.

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