It’s no secret that when the days get shorter and colder we tend to stay indoors, wrapped up with our comfort food. It gets considerably harder for us to stay healthy during winter. We want to feel warm and nourished, so we tell ourselves the extra food we eat is a natural seasonal change, and our metabolisms slowing down is normal. Bad news, it’s not our metabolism that slows down – it’s us! The way to keep fit in winter is simple. Exercise!
It not only helps to burn off the calories you’ve already consumed, but it helps to make you feel less hungry in the long run. Regular exercise can substantially reduce levels of the pesky hunger hormone leptin, not to mention that fit people have a far more resilient immune system, which makes it less likely for them to catch a cold, and if they do, it helps them recover faster.
Here’s what you can do if you’re concerned about gaining winter weight:
1) Don’t let the weather weaken your motivation
It’s important to keep up all your good habits and routines. Make sure you go straight to the gym after work as you’re less likely to want to go once you get comfy at home. Routines are a great way to organise your life, build healthy habits and increase efficiency.
2) Turn daily tasks into training opportunities
Try to incorporate exercise into daily tasks. You can use your lunchtime to go for a walk, and make sure you take the stairs! If you’re feeling fit, step it up a gear and take two stairs at a time. You can also purchase a Fitbit watch to monitor your steps and calorie consumption. Utilising your breaks like this is the perfect way to refresh your mindset and ensure you have a productive afternoon.
3) Weekend workouts
You have more time on the weekends to exercise, so why not make the most of it? Take up mountain biking and hiking with friends. It’s a great idea to get workout buddies to help keep you motivated (and there’s safety in numbers), and with all the chatting you won’t even realise you’re there to workout. Just make sure to dress warmly!
4) Have a healthy plan for home
Download these free, quick and effective workout apps from the App store on your phone. Try Sworkit which is great for strength, cardio, yoga and stretching exercises – and you get to customise the duration of your workout! If you’re strapped for time, try the simple app, 7 Minute Workout Challenge, for high-intensity training in less than 10 minutes. If you have weights, a stability ball or skipping rope, you can use these too for a more challenging workout. You can also watch YouTube videos – try my favourite 15 Minute Cardio and Total Body Toning Bootcamp Workout.
Feeling strong? Push it up a gear and do it twice! Lastly, you can always jog or do light stretching in front of the TV to maintain your fitness during winter.
5) Keep a positive mindset
The most important thing is to have a positive attitude and approach your winter workouts with a healthy mindset. Keep setting goals for yourself and plan ahead to make things easier. If you keep moving, you will not only manage to keep warm, but you’ll be ahead of the game by the time summer arrives, to show off your beautiful, healthy body!