Your winter workout

We know it’s a little harder to keep your motivation high and your exercise goals on track at this time of year. The shorter days and frost, wind and rain can hamper your efforts from both a practical point of view and in terms of having the willpower to tackle the elements. Therefore, we have 4 essential tips to make sure you stay active all winter.

Working out or working in?

A major factor in keeping your exercise routine going is choosing the right kind of programme for you. Where you choose to exercise can have a big impact. If you have been jogging or walking outside on a regular basis over the summer and during autumn, there is a good chance that you are starting to miss out on a few of your usual training sessions due to the adverse weather conditions.

Rather than give up these activities completely, it may be beneficial to introduce some alternatives for those nastier days. You could choose to join a gym if there is one close by and if there are no financial constraints. However, it’s useful to have the facilities at hand so that you can workout at home.

All you have to do is invest in a couple of exercise videos (having a little variety will help) or a set of hand weights. Effectively, this will eliminate the excuse not to exercise. A couple of 20-30 minute sessions during the week will have a big impact. So no more excuses!

When to exercise?

By the time five or six o clock rolls around it’s already dark and the idea of dragging yourself off to the gym for an hour may be less than attractive. If it is feasible, it may be easier during the winter to exercise before work, or at lunch-time. By the evening you may simply just want to get home as soon as possible and curl up in front of the fire and it’s very easy to talk yourself out of exercising. If you get it out of the way early in the day you can relax and not feel guilty because you are just too tired to do it.

Think about what you are doing now, think about why you are letting things slip and think about changing your routine to optimise your exercise level. Choosing an exercise routine that suits your lifestyle is essential to your success.

Everyday exercise

Although an exercise session is described as ‘sustained cardiovascular effort for 25-30 minutes’, it doesn’t have to mean pumping iron in the gym, ploughing up and down the swimming pool or cycling for miles! As many of us juggle careers and family responsibilities, we just don’t have the time to go to the gym every other day. And research has found that slimmer people don’t necessarily take more official exercise - but they are more active in their daily lives. So don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to catch up on exercise. The preparations for Christmas offer great opportunities to get active:

Make a big effort to get the house and garden looking fantastic for all the impending family visits – housework and gardening are big calorie burners.

Make your own Christmas cakes and puddings and stir the mixtures by hand (don’t forget to make a wish!). Your biceps will never feel the same again!

Shop till you drop! It may not feel like exercise but all that searching for presents can leave you walking for hours without even realising it.

Decorate to beat the band! All that climbing up and down to hang Santas and stars will keep the heart rate pumping.

Follow your star

Know what you are aiming for. Remember way back when you started getting active? There was probably a vision clearly in your mind that motivated you to get going – a healthier, fitter, slimmer, leaner and more energetic body. Over the past weeks or months you will have seen vast improvements. Continuing right up to the holiday period means that the changes in how your body looks and feels will continue. You will burn calories while you are exercising and your metabolic rate will increase even when you are not exercising. This means that when it comes to eating Christmas dinner you will burn off the turkey and pudding more efficiently.

Keep your goals firmly in mind, remind yourself on a daily basis why you are putting in the effort, focus on the benefits and look forward to a guilt-free Christmas dinner!

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.