As the days get shorter and darker and the cold creeps in, most people will try and find excuses not to continue with their exercise routine. Sleeping for an extra hour inside your warm quilt in the morning or cozying up in front of the TV with a hot mug of tea always seem a better option. But those of you who know better understand that keeping up your exercise routine irrespective of the weather is what’s really good for you. Staying consistent with your exercise routine in the winter not only helps you maintain your health and fitness but helps keep your mood elevated and your energy high despite the cold.
If going to the gym or the outdoors is something that really is withholding you from your routine, find something that you can do at home. There are numerous ways to stay fit by working out at home with minimal equipment and just the right knowhow. Use your body weight to do simple but efficient exercises like squats, pushups, burpees and spot cardio. Skipping ropes, dynamic yoga and TRX are great too.
Join a winter boot camp or try a new group class. This would fuel your motivation as you target new goals. Martial arts, boxing, dance class, wall climbing are great options as you learn something new and enjoy it among a set of motivated people. Have a friend or two join you; this would make it a lot more fun and set the tone for accountability and competition.
Avoid the winter weight gain also by eating right. Stay away from the numerous cups of tea and coffee that most people are inclined to have without realizing how much sugar they are putting into their bodies. Eat regular healthy, nutritiously well balanced meals in a quiet environment ensuring portion control. Stay well hydrated.
It’s so easy to succumb to being indoors and in front of the heater but this will have adverse effect on your health, energy levels and overall immunity. Instead choose to stay active every opportunity you have. Walk, run, take the stairs, get chores done, keep the blood circulating and heart pumping to feel totally invigorated and alive. Winter must not be the reason for you to go sedentary. Instead find every reason and answer to stay motivated, active and exercising regularly.
It is said that just by stepping into the gym or initiating your first exercise movement, fifty percent of your workout is done and the rest is all about completing it. Everything about your workout process remains the same despite the change in season but here are few considerations that will help you make your workout more effective.
• Warm up properly. It will take longer to warm up because of the lowered temperature. Warm up also psyches you up and helps you ease into your main workout.
• Avoid taking longer rest periods during your workout. Avoid being distracted with gym socials or other reasons. Active recovery in between sets is the best way to keep your heart rate up and the body warm.
• Layer up your clothing for both indoor and outdoor workouts. It helps you trap body heat and maintain warmth. The first layer should be synthetic fiber such as polypropylene which wicks away moisture unlike cotton which gets soaked and wets your entire workout experience.
• Cold drinks in summer, no drink in winter is how most people go. Stay on top of hydration with adequate intake of H2O. Keep drinking periodically even if you don’t feel the thirst. Taking small sips during workout and hydrating properly afterwards is good way to go.
Sandesh Palungwa Limbu, Certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and specialises in mixed martial arts.