Getting outside to exercise is daunting in the cold and dark, but the rewards of staying active make it worthwhile.
While it may seem a better idea to stay in the comfort of a warm home at this time of year, it’s really important you keep active in the winter months. Putting steps in place to tick off some physical activity in your day requires a bit of planning, but will ensure you aren’t exercise-hibernating with the cooler temperatures and darker days.
As an athlete, training in the cooler temperatures was not my favourite pastime. However, for the most part, once I got through those cold and wet training sessions, I felt much better for it. There is something quite satisfying about getting your exercise in when the elements try to test you!
My exercise tips to keep you going through winter and bouncing into spring are:
Get your home circuit on in your living room
I’m a big fan of a body weight exercise circuit in the lounge. For example, pick 10 exercises and do 10 repetitions of each one starting on the minute. Repeat twice from the comfort of your own home. Check out the sideways jumps we feature this month (right).
Choose high-intensity options to save time
To boost your metabolic rate and save time, I recommend including some high intensity workouts. This is when your heart rate is up and you’re really going for it for a short period of time. Long and slow exercise may make you sweaty, but it might not necessarily get you to your exercise goal faster. Mix it up!
Alter the time you exercise in the day
If you’re an early riser or an after-work exerciser in summer, why not use your lunch break or a different time of the day to move in daylight. Be prepared, with your clothing and footwear, and get it done.
Use colder days as an opportunity to try a different indoor exercise option
For example, check out your local squash court, link up with some mates for a game of indoor netball or investigate a trial at a gym.
On those beautiful crisp winter days, get outside and get moving
When the opportunity arises to exercise outside, grasp it. Wrap up warm and feel the cold air on your face. It’s invigorating and truly makes you feel alive.
1 Slightly bend your knees with weight onto your right leg. Place your hands on your hips for stability and keep them on your hips throughout.
2 Prepare to take a sideways leap by bending your right knee, pushing off and stepping to your left.
3 As you do this movement, extend both legs.
4 Land on your left leg with a soft bent knee.
5 Prepare your left leg to push off to the right, returning to the starting position.