It can be really hard to stay motivated about exercise in winter, but it is important to keep active for your physical and mental wellbeing. Working out in Winter can make all the difference to your all round health and wellness.
There is no denying that when it is cold outside, it can be challenging to get off the couch and get moving. But exercise can increase your energy, strengthen your immune system and help with depression. When you can, exercise outside and benefit from the fresh air and exposure to natural light, nature’s way of helping fight depression.
Physical & Mental Wellbeing
Young or old, everyone needs different kinds of exercise and it is good to change it up a little. Variety is the key, anything can feel boring if it is done over and over without change. A walk in the fresh air, pilates, a team game, yoga, weights, the opportunity to exercise is everywhere. Cardio or aerobic exercise gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe harder, which builds your endurance and burns calories. Strength or weight training keeps your muscles ready for action. Flexibility exercises help you stay limber so you can have a full range of movement and avoid injury. Balance training becomes important after age 50, so you can prevent falls and stay active. Any or all of these ways to exercise contributes to your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be working out in winter:
1. Stay in Shape: Colder temperatures can mean reaching for comfort foods which typically add unwanted calories and kgs. Keep motivated to stick to your healthy habits, avoid sugar and hidden sugars, still enjoy some delicious sugar free treats but use an all natural sugar replacement like Perfect Sweet™ xylitol or SlimSweet™ Monk Fruit Sweetener in your recipes. Keep exercising and burning calories, so you can easily slip into your summer wardrobe when the time arrives.
2. Improve Your Immune System: It has been shown that regular exercise can strengthen your immune system. When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body quicker to find and destroy infections, like the winter flu. This boost does not last forever, so regular workouts equals regular boosts!
3. Fight the Winter Blues: We can’t change the weather but we can change our mood. Exercise releases the feel good chemicals, serotonin and dopamine, that help reduce depression and anxiety. Just 45 minutes of activity each day could have you happily sailing through winter!
4. Winter Sunshine Strength: When you can, exercise outside. Benefit from the fresh air and give your lungs a chance to detox, breathing in all the fresh air you can without sharing it with anyone else! And when the sun is shining, get your dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps make strong bones and keeps your immune system strong to fight way the colds and flus while boosting positivity. The easiest way to get vitamin D is from exposure of bare skin to the sunlight.
5. Keep Warm: Get moving and warm up naturally while burning calories. A workout has a soothing, calming effect on your entire body, a little bit like taking a long, hot bath or sitting in front of a lovely log fire.
How to Stay Motivated to Workout Regularly
- Don’t see it as a chore. Change your perspective, exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate!
- Be realistic, set a goal. that is achievable, especially at the beginning. You can always change your goals once you start to enjoy the difference it is making in your life.
- Schedule a regular workout time….or not! It may not suit you to set a time, where you feel that you HAVE to do it, rather than just decide to do something each day and do it.
- Shake it up and have some fun and include plenty of variety.
- Going for a walk with a family member or a friend still counts! Reach out to others not only for support but to share in the fun and health benefits of working out in winter.