The temperature plummets, it’s dark too early, and it’s hard to work up the energy to go outside. Sound familiar? Making an effort to stay active in winter can be hard, but it’s worth it.
If you stop exercising through winter you’ll increase your risk of some diseases and be more likely to gain weight (especially if you indulge in festive food!). If you get creative and find new ways to stay active, however, you’ll find that your mood and energy rise while you keep up a healthy lifestyle.
Joining a health centre gym will definitely keep you active over winter, and many health centres will offer month-by-month memberships, so you only need to attend over the cold winter months.
Weights rooms and exercise machines are great if you get trained up on using them. If you’re not a fan of fitness equipment don’t worry, as most health centres offer more than just gym facilities for people who want to stay healthy.
Your local health centre will often offer fitness classes, from energetic activities like badminton, table tennis and boot camps, to dancing, pilates and yoga.
If your local gym or community pool offers aqua fitness classes, like aqua jogging and aerobics, then head to the pool for some energetic indoors exercise during winter, or even just a few laps.
If you have the space and some money to invest, then consider buying some home gym equipment, like an exercise bike, and putting it to use while you watch television or listen to an audio book.
There are also a great range of exercise DVDs on offer that could keep you healthy at home over the winter. Many are very cheap to purchase and can be carried out in the comfort of your own living room, needing nothing more than a pair of trainers to work out with. The nation’s favourite Rosemary Conley has a great Fitness Triple Pack DVD (£5.99) which has workouts suitable for a range of fitness levels.
There are some activities that you may not think of as exercise, but which will still keep you active over winter.
- – put on an album you love and dance in your living room
- – spend five minutes climbing up and down your stairs
- – walk a neighbour’s dog
- – tidy your garden
- – volunteer for your local community
- – stroll around a shopping centre with friends
If you’re going to exercise outside during winter, make sure you wrap up warm with several layers, and invest in a good fleece. Wear gloves, a hat and good socks, and try to avoid going out on your own to exercise when it’s dark.
What other exercises could you do to stay active during winter?