The past few days have definitely seen a shift weather-wise; the Indian summer has finally passed and the cooler weather has set in. I’ve been hiding under a blanket on the sofa rather than going for my usual evening walks even though I know that it is so important to ensure I am sticking to my fitness routine at this time of year for a whole host of reasons, not least because the festive season is an indulgent time of the year! Christmas can also end up being the reason why so many of us decide “keeping fit” is our New Year’s Resolution. Even so, I know that it’s better to have kept this resolution all year round and I don’t want to give up just because the dark nights and weather is putting me off.
Continuing to exercise throughout the winter can also give you a whole of health benefits too; regularly exercising helps to reduce cholesterol build up and makes your heart healthier too. This is especially important in winter months when the change between cold and hot environments moves so quickly and before you know it, you’re exercising solely in the dark. So I’ve researched a few fitness ideas that I’m going to try to stick to in order to make my winter a happy and healthy one, and here’s my plan:
1. Get some help
The best way to ensure you keep exercising is to get someone to help you and keep motivated and when all you want to do is nothing at all. You could hire yourself a livefit personal trainer; this will help keep you motivated and can help with advice on on all kinds of training and nutrition. Trainers are passionate about developing strong relationships with their clients as it makes for better, more enjoyable experience and a much easier fitness journey. And why not encourage your friends and family to work out with you? Make an agreement with them so they make sure you exercise, in return for some reward or incentive, OR a punishment if YOU don’t fulfil your promise.
2. Try some new forms of exercise
There is a wide range of sports exclusive to the cooler months that can be enjoyed when winter comes around. There are adventurous options like snowboarding and ski biking for the daredevils at heart or alternatively, you can find your nearest indoor snow centre that offers snowboarding and skiing lessons. Not only will these sports improve your fitness, but they’ll also make you feel more festive too, as you bundle up and take to the slopes! I particularly like the idea of ice skating and at this time of year it’s often easier to find somewhere to try it out, as skating rinks pop-up at festive events and Christmas markets. Each of these sports are especially suitable for the conditions found at that time of year so it is an easy way to overcome the perils of the cold and icy conditions. With a great deal to choose from, there will be something for everyone and you never know, you might even find a new passion! A easier and less-expensive option is winter walking or hiking – it’s relatively simple to try and lets you relish in the marvels of the winter at a steady, easy pace – yes, you’re exercising and you don’t even know it!
3. Set yourself a goal and achieve it!
Everyone knows that one of the main highlights of Christmas is the delicious feast we all enjoy on Christmas day. There are so many components that come together perfectly to make it one of the best tasting meals of the year. “But aren’t I meant to cutting back on my diet?” I hear you say. Well yes, but if you set yourself a number of fitness goals for autumn and winter and achieve them exactly as you had planned to then you are definitely allowed one day to treat yourself, besides it is Christmas after all!
The reward can be anything, treating yourself to a nice Christmas present, giving yourself a few days off over Christmas or just allowing yourself to eat as much Christmas lunch as you want, just make sure it is something you will really want to work for. As far as the goal goes, just make sure its achievable but still a somewhat significant achievement, something that pushes you, just not too much.
4. Optimise the indoors
The weather outside might be frightful but the briskness of a chilly winter night can definitely work in your favour. Of course, optimising the outdoors is a great way to mix up your existing regime, but for when the weather is just too disgusting, there are so many indoor options around the UK to exploit. I really like the idea of swimming in warm pool when it’s raining outside and exercise will warm you up from the inside out, so if you’re feeling cold, get moving! If you’re thinking of joining a gym a monthly membership is advised over Pay As You Go classes; not only does it save you so much money, but the commitment encourages you to work out more often.
5. Take part in the spirit of the season
One of the best ways to keep exercising is to quite simply become a kid again. Have snowball fights with your friends, building an igloo and even sledding are actually all good exercises during the winter months. There is a lot of exercise involved in a typical snowball fight; collecting and shaping your weapons, running and hiding all burn off more calories than you think as being dressed in warm, heavy clothes means you require more energy to move like normal. You’ll also be sweating more which has so many health benefits.
You should definitely check out how to build an igloo as although it is quite a time consuming process, it is actually quite a good workout, the constant collecting and compacting of snow and placing of blocks helps to burn off lots of calories.
Finally, the effort of walking up and down a hill as well as sledding down is as good a workout as any normal run or jog, and a bit more fun too. Just always make sure you are appropriately dressed, so you can stay outside in the snow for as long as possible without getting too cold or wet, maximising your fitness time.
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