Pair training in winter

Winter fitness, and how to go about keeping fit and healthy as the nights draw in.

The nights are closing in, the frost is beginning to descend, and there’s no doubt that your heating will be clicking on at 6am sharp for the next few months.

That’s right, winter is here, which means warmth and comfort take priority over everything. It’s at this time of year that we find ourselves reaching for the tubs of chocolate while lying on the couch, and our health and fitness routines go out of the window.

However, keeping up your personal fitness routine couldn’t be more important, after all, you don’t want to undo all that hard work you’ve done.

While the thought of winter fitness may be terrifying, it’s not as difficult as you may think. From exercise and clothing to what to eat, below, we’ve outlined a few ways to inspire you to keep going with your winter fitness route.

Winter fitness - Keeping fit

First things first, you need to stay motivated, after all, the darkness and cold aren’t going to inspire anyone to get going – especially when sweatpants are comfier. However, there are several ways to ensure your personal fitness routine doesn’t suffer in the colder months.

Use your home

It’s warm indoors and cold outside, which will be why you’re not thinking of going for a run or hitting the gym. So, why not utilise your living room?

From buying kettlebells and small weights to ensure you can work on strength training while watching Netflix, to trying out Yoga as you’ve always wanted to, it can all be done at home. Yoga is a great exercise to try, it’s not too strenuous, won’t take up much space, and can motivate you when it's dark in the mornings.

There are also loads of online fitness resources in places like YouTube, which are perfect for when you want a quick 20 – 30-minute workout, but don’t want to leave the warmth of your four walls.

Get outside

That being said, don’t completely overlook the outdoors. While you may not want to step outside first thing in the morning or the evening, you could venture outside on the weekends, or when it's dry.

One thing to remember is, it’s a myth that exercise can’t be done in cold conditions. The cold weather can also be beneficial in several ways, including:

  • Burning more calories
  • It’s good for your heart
  • You’ll get more Vitamin D

Plan ahead

Of course, with winter comes rain and snow, which is why many of us don’t want to leave the house.

Try pre-planning your outdoor exercises to make sure you get out of the house and make the most of the outdoor benefits. Most weather apps and news sites give seven-day forecasts, which means you can stay ahead of the game and plan the week ahead, giving you that ideal mix of indoor and outdoor workouts.

Find a friend

If you’re struggling to find motivation in the cold, why not find an exercise buddy?

Grab a friend, or even your partner, and rope them into an indoor or outdoor exercise session. Doing this will create excellent motivations as you work to push each other on. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition either.

Winter fitness – your wardrobe

One of the biggest complaints, or excuses, used when it comes to winter fitness routines is it’s ‘too cold’.

Therefore, there are several things you can do to make sure you’re prepared for the colder exercise weather.

Dress in layers

You’d layer up to go to the shop, so why not do the same and go for a run? Make sure your under shirts are made of a ‘wicking’ material, as this will draw perspiration away from you. On the top wear an insulating top to help keep you warm, while a jumper or fleece on top can help when it’s really cold. For the bottom half wear ‘wicking’ bottoms rather than shorts.

Hats, gloves and socks

These are an extra layer you won’t need at other times of the year, these will keep you warm and help to regulate your entire body temperature.

Dress ‘Dry,’ Not Just ‘Warm’

This is important. You may have planned ahead, but the weather may choose to throw a little rain at you.

The quickest way to lose body heat is to get wet. This is why ‘wicking’ materials are good to prevent you from getting wet with sweat.

Waterproof clothing over the top of your outdoor clothing will come in handy, and if you don’t want to wear it, pop it in a small backpack. It won’t weigh much after all.

Footwear

The floor can be dangerous in winter. From snow and ice to leftover rain and of course, pesky leaves. Make sure you dress your feet accordingly with specific winter trainers with treading made for such conditions.

Be seen

Finally, if you are going out in the evenings or early morning, wear bright and reflective clothing to ensure you can be seen.

Winter fitness – keeping healthy

The final part of the winter fitness puzzle is staying healthy. The best way to do this is through your diet.

Of course, with so much cheese and chocolate around, it would be a crime not to treat yourself. However, if you’ve been putting the health effort in throughout the year, now is the time to keep it up.

One of the key reasons for this is to boost your immune system. A strong immune system will help to keep colds at bay, which are rife at this time of year. It’s even more important if you exercise as you’ll be more vulnerable due to being tired.

Eating right, incorporating omega 3, more fibre, mushrooms, and even spicy food into your diet can help, while snacking to make up for the calories you’ve burnt off is always key.

Finally, water is always important for immunity, and while you may not feel too thirsty, cold air speeds up dehydration and you need to be aware of this.

If you’re looking to keep fit this winter, why not think ahead a little, could next year bring you a new career? Training to become a personal trainer is a great way to combine the two, and now is the ideal time. Get in touch today and find out how Focus Training can help you.