Maintaining your workouts indoors during the colder months!
Ok, so we have the workout gear, the drink bottle, the towel, the gym bag…check, check, check and check! But, its cold outside; ‘do I have to step outside.’ Well, the simple answer is no! The colder months are always a tough grind to motivate oneself into exercise. Why? Well, it’s cold, it gets dark a lot sooner, we are tired, worn out, hungry…. blah blah blah.
But, you have to make time; as they say ‘summer bodies are made in winter!’ It’s the snuggle up perception as we eat more, sleep more, and overindulge more. We get sick more often and we go into this dormant state. Exercise becomes a dreaded word.
What we should be doing is continuing our health and fitness routine during the colder months. We need to stay healthy, strengthen our immune system, fight off those persistent colds and the dreaded flu. When exercising more blood is pumped around the body boasting circulation to fight these pesky germs. Working out will make you feel good, strong and robust along with breaking up your day or ending your day positively. It will also ease your stress levels.
Regular exercise can also improve your sleep quality. As you sleep your body will complete its own workout (a little more moderate though). Therefore, combined with exercise it provides a consistent wellbeing routine for the mind and body!
Let’s think about exercise at home during the winter months. Why? Let us think of it as a home date. Benefits are; its private, you get to stay indoors, you choose the ambience, what you do, how you do it, what music to play and it saves your hard-earned dosh.
Try a home circuit; all you need is a space! Remember to always warm up, slow and steady; this may include skipping, lunging, jogging… Be well hydrated and have a snack prior to your session. Always fuel your muscles prior to a workout and after. It does not have to be high in intensity. It’s your workout and you’re in control.
A session can include resistance training using a fit band, medicine ball, bar bell, foam roller, hand weights, fit ball or a chair! You can do push-ups, triceps dips, squats, crunches or planks (4 sets of 15 reps) You can do cardio; you may have a stationary exercise bike at home; warmup, then do interval sprints alternating with hill climbs. You can also do jacks, shuffles…yoga…. the list is endless.
Always finish with a cooldown and stretch. Experiment with this repertoire as it will all depend on what you want to achieve. You can check out FB, YouTube or a fitness magazine for a cardio routine, strength program, a Zumba class, tone class, weights class or an abs session. Don’t forget to put on your favourite music too.
I love resistance bands as they help control your movements in a stretch or routine and increase your flexibility. Some people even hire gym equipment during these cold months; such as a spin bike, rower, stepper, pin loaded machines, full weight sets, benches, barbells, etc. Find what suits YOU!
If you also love going to the gym, then keep going! Have a schedule, a plan, a place, a class and stick to it! Whatever you choose, keep the relationship healthy.
Remember any form of exercise is better than no exercise. If you can only do one session a week that’s fine. Next week do two! Start with 20 minutes, then go to 30 minutes then 40 minutes. Build on this and include variety!
By exercising, those endorphins will be released leaving you on an elevated high; you will be content to do it all again. Continue to fuel your body with good nutrients, continue to rest and recover. You will see results and how exercise affects sleep and your daily life. What more can I say but a definite formula for success!
You can continue your fitness road in winter, be it weight loss, cardio fitness, muscle strength or growth. The psychological and emotional benefits of being active are enormous. It will definitely boost your confidence. It will become a relationship! Keep it exciting! You control the time, place, exercise, tempo, sets, reps…. etc. It is an analogy for a great winter fitness journey. Find pleasure in what you do, then its success is easy!
Let’s do it! Roll out the yoga mat, put on that music, get the chair out…. down dog, sing along, triceps down on that chair and go!!!
I find this quote appropriate to our winter success. “Question: Want to know what I do on the winter days when I don’t want to work out? Answer- I work out!”