Dark by 4pm and dark mornings? Check. Cold and windy? Check. The urge to spend your nights and mornings curled up warm in bed? Check.
It’s definitely winter, and lately we’ve heard a lot of people in the clinic talking about “hibernating” during the winter months: it’s too cold outside and they don’t want to be out in the bitter wind.
I can’t blame them. It does sound tempting to stay wrapped up warm in bed. But it’s not always a good idea. Winter is prime time for your joints and muscles to seize up and become painful.
So, how can you look past the gloomy weather and cold temperatures and get yourself up and moving?
All it takes is a little creativity, especially if it’s a fun activity, because you’re more likely to do it rather than decide it can “wait until tomorrow”
Here are eight tips to help keep you active during the winter months:
1. Join a gym or health club
Indoor gyms are your best friend during the winter. Choose one located close to where you live or your office so getting there doesn’t feel like too much of a chore.
Swimming is a great way to boost your physical strength and heart health. Plus, being active in the water is a comfortable way to ease into exercising again if you haven’t been active for a while.
3. Ice skating
This is always a fun one, and with the Forum in Billingham, it’s accessible all year round! A great way to turn winter festivities into a workout. Skating is a great workout for your legs and core muscles as you try to keep your balance. It can also be a great cardio workout.
A great way to keep active during winter and count it as exercise. Try taking the stairs instead of escalators and park further away to get more steps in.
5. Fitness classes
These will not only help you get in shape, but also help keep you motivated. Try one out that you think sounds interesting or enjoyable to do. It will also mean you have a little extra energy in the new year to try some more, and if you don’t want to go alone, see if a friend or two can join you – studies show after all that working out with friends makes it more easy to do.
6. Take the stairs
This one I’ve already mentioned with shopping, but wherever possible, take the stairs – at work if you can as an extra to help to keep you active, especially if you’ll be sat in an office all day.
7. Exercise at home
Buy exercise equipment like a yoga mat or some hand weights and make your own gym at home. You can use YouTube or a fitness app to find exercise routines that you can follow along with to get yourself moving. And if you already have an exercise bike, why not use it while watching your favourite TV show to help pass the time?
8. Play outdoors with your kids/grandkids
What better way to keep your blood pumping in the winter? If we get snow, activities like building a snowman, snowballing or even going sledging can be great ways to keep active.
So there you have it, eight tips to help you keep active during the winter months to stop you from “hibernating” and making January even more difficult to get back to your active routine (without stiff joints).
l If back pain is keeping you from enjoying life, head to my website to download my free back pain guide – https://www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain/ or call, 01429 866771, to request your free copy.