Most sports aren’t half as appealing in winter. The idea of heading for a workout when it’s dark and raining outside can make even the most devoted gym bunny think twice. Going for a swim when it’s freezing seems positively insane, and heading out for a jog when you can see your own breath fogging up is also less than appealing to most of us. However, the winter months are the most important time to implement a fitness program and stick to it. That way, you can still eat all the carbs your body is craving without having to worry about your waistline.
Get a fitness group together
One of the best ways of maintaining an exercise regimen in winter is to pair up with a friend, or even a group of friends, to keep you motivated. There’s nothing like a bit of moral support to get you up in the morning and into your running shoes. If you set yourselves a series of goals and reward yourselves with little treats along the way, you might find you’re enjoying keeping fit more than you ever thought possible.
If you can’t find a friend, think about hiring a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you into a routine, or join a local sports team. Team sports are one of the best ways to stay active and are a great way of making new friends. From badminton and volleyball to soccer and bowling, there are hundreds of sports to choose from, requiring varying levels of expertise and fitness.
For those who still refuse to brave the outside and struggle to find the motivation to head to the gym or out for a jog with friends, consider trying one of the many exercise programs you can now do from the comfort and warmth of your own living room. Aerobics, dancercise, Wii tennis, trampolining, running up and down the stairs, yoga, pilates – you can do all these things and more all within flopping distance of the sofa. Set yourself a routine, say half an hour every morning before work, and stick to it!
Try keeping weights or smaller equipment in your bedroom and get into the habit of doing a few reps before bedtime or when you wake up. Another way to try to stay active is to get off the bus or the train one stop earlier and walk to work or to the shops. You’ll burn extra calories in the cold. Carrying heavy shopping bags will give your arms a good workout too.
There’s no need to accept the inevitable weight gain this winter. Get a team of like-minded friends together, work out indoors or simply change your exercise patterns to suit the cooler months – there’s no excuse to simply sit under the doona this winter.