When the temperature starts to drop and it becomes darker earlier in the evening, it suddenly becomes easier and easier to think of reasons to abandon our regular exercise routines and stay indoors curled up on the couch.
Health experts urge that it is important to stay active throughout the year, no matter the weather. Regular exercise not only has countless health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, it also helps to beat the winter blues by increasing our energy levels, improving our moods and helping us sleep better at night. However, without a gym membership, many of us may feel lost for different ways to stay in shape. But there are many different approaches that we can take that will help us stay active and fit during the cooler months.
Below we have compiled four low-cost ways and easy tips you can follow to get moving and keep doing the things you love even in winter!
1. Take the stairs
Running up and down stairs at home, at work or even at a shopping centre can be a quick and effective cardio workout and it is as easy as choosing the stairs over taking the elevator or escalator. Stair climbing burns more calories than a traditional walking as it requires you to pull your weight against gravity, which needs more effort and therefore increases your abilities to maintain your weight and avoid the winter weight gain. Taking the stairs also offers various health benefits. Doctors recommend stair climbing as an ideal way to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease.
2. Home Work Outs
A workout DVD or quick search of YouTube for at home aerobic exercise routines are a convenient way to get extra movement in when you are short on time or resources. A quick 30 minute routine before or after work each day will help keep you active and fit all throughout winter. If you have simple exercise equipment such as a skipping rope, hand weights or stretch bands, incorporate these into your daily regime to take your home workout a notch further and reap even more benefits. Dont have hand weights? Try using cans of food instead!
3. Recruit a Friend
Grab a friend and get involved in various community sport groups or fitness classes such as Zumba, boot camps or yoga. Having a friend with you not only makes it double the fun, it also keeps you accountable and encourages you to get out of the house and turn up to your fitness date as you won't just be letting yourself down if you dont go. Participate in an activity that you may have never tried out before as this helps to keep it interesting and fun but most importantly can help keep you motivated. You can find local classes via some great apps these days! Try KFIT and BodyPass.
4. Layer Up
If you prefer to still get a dose of fresh air and exercise outdoors, be aware of the weather and keep yourself warm by layering smart. Choose exercise clothes and outerwear that allow you to layer on a thin, thermal first layer as well as an outer layer that will help give you warmth without the bulkiness and enables you to peel off the layers as you begin to get moving and start to heat up. Be sure to keep your toes, feet, hands and ears covered and warm, as these areas help to regulate the rest of our body temperature.
What are some your tips for staying active and healthy in winter? Share them with us below!