With the cold weather and limited daylight at this time of year, it’s very easy to forget about keeping active during the winter months.
Resisting this temptation though can be very fruitful, both for your physical health and mental wellbeing. It’s well known that many of us can feel a little blue during the winter, and exercise is a fantastic way of beating this.
Running apps on your phone can often help to keep you motivated, and can also help you gradually build up your endurance to allow you to run for longer and longer. If you’d rather avoid the cold weather, you can also find plenty of 10-minute home routines. If you’d prefer something gentler, you could perhaps try Pilates or yoga instead, or even leisurely bike rides.
Benefits of extra exercise
It can be quite difficult to drag yourself out of bed during the pitch-black winter mornings, but exercise will help to give you more energy, which should make that a little easier.
Many of us also eat more during the winter months, so extra exercise can help us maintain a healthy body weight.
What to do first
If you’re starting a new exercise regime, it’s really important you don’t overdo it. Gradually increasing the amount of exercise you do is the best way to go as it will help ensure you avoid hurting yourself, which could put any new plan back days, weeks, or even months. If 30 minutes in one go is too difficult to start with, split it into three 10-minute stints, or two 15-
You also need to ensure you warm up properly. Walking at a brisk pace or having a little jog can help warm your muscles, while you should wear several layers if you’re heading out into the cold. You’d be surprised by how much heat leaves the body by the head too, so a hat can be a good idea.
You should also ensure you wear reflective clothing if exercising outside in the dark, and stick to well-lit areas where possible. If it is raining or icy out, it may be an idea to put exercise off for a day or exercise indoors in order to avoid slips and falls.