There are ways to make sure you get off the sofa, put on your workout gear, and move your body on a regular basis, no matter how dark and cold it is.
Finding the motivation to exercise is always harder in the winter. But there are ways to make sure you get up off the sofa, put on your workout gear, and move your body on a regular basis, no matter how dark and cold it is.
Vicki Anstey, leading fitness figure and the founder of Barreworks.co.uk, has given Cover Media her top tips for staying fit during the winter months.
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1. Wake up at the same time every day – this will give you less sleep inertia (stress), improve alertness, reduce caffeine dependence, brighten your mood, and improve your immune system function.
2. Get outdoors at least twice a day (whatever the weather) for a dose of vitamin D, fresh air and to ensure you hit your recommended step count every day. When we are more house-bound in winter months, our general activity levels drop, so you will need to plan ahead for this and schedule those outing into your diary!
3. Create a schedule for your workouts – and stick to it! Make sure your expectations are realistic, but you should aim for 30-60 mins per day. Mix this up with high-intensity workouts and more steady runs, walks or cycles for variety and adherence.
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4. Get the right kit. Whether it's a home gym or studio equipment, or simply cold weather layers, the right running shoes or a turbo frame for indoor cycling, plan ahead. On cold, dark mornings, you need everything to work in your favour, so if you can’t find your running gloves, that 10km run may never happen.
5. Gear yourself up for a bit of cold exposure by having a cold shower. Even just a few minutes at the end of your regular warm shower will help you adapt and build resilience. And it’s proven to be great for mental health too, reducing cortisol and releasing endorphins.