Are you a “fair weather” fitness fan?
Saturday 04 June, 2022
Here’s why you should keep exercising in winter
Do you exercise enthusiastically during the warmer months and tend to lose motivation when it's cold? You’re not alone. If the idea of working out in winter has you disappearing under your doona, this one’s for you.
In fact, winter can be a great time to get in shape, and if you want to maximise your fitness level, it’s obvious that giving up for a significant chunk of the year just doesn’t make sense.
Getting active in the colder months comes with a lot of great benefits and requires just a bit of extra thought and planning to ensure you stay motivated.
The benefits of exercising in winter
Even though the weather is colder and the days are shorter, there are plenty of benefits to starting or maintaining a winter exercise regime.
If you’re especially tempted by comfort food during the winter (and let’s face it, most of us are), keeping up an exercise regime can help balance your calorie intake.
In fact, you can burn more calories at this time of year because your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature.
Also, winter is a great time to focus on building your flexibility, core and muscle strength by doing yoga, pilates and weight training. As a bonus, you can stay warm and out of the weather by working out at home or in the gym.
How to exercise in winter
Don’t be too ambitious. Keep it simple and focus on a smaller number of regular work outs rather than lengthy and strenuous exercise sessions.
A bonus of winter workouts is that the popular outdoor exercise spots are often less crowded. If you want to exercise outside but the cold morning or evening temperatures are stopping you from going out, consider exercising mid-morning, mid-afternoon or going for a power walk during your lunch hour.
Don’t forget that your muscles and joints need extra attention when it’s cold. Decrease your risk of injury by stretching and warming up properly before you exercise.
Tips for staying motivated to exercise in winter
Exercise with a partner or group
Buddy up with an accountability partner or join a walking or running group to stay motivated and on track. Signing up for a local team sport like netball or soccer is also a great way of socialising and keeping fit during winter.
Find an exercise class or program that fits your needs
Try an online fitness program – you can get a great workout without even leaving the house. Avoid the weather by exercising in the gym, taking yoga or pilates classes or clocking up some laps in an indoor (heated) pool.