Feeling great: It’s vital to keep active in winter

Running in the winter.
Running in the winter.

Dark mornings? Check. Needing to wrap up in more layers when leaving the house? Check.

I think it’s safe to say that winter has officially arrived.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy winter. But what I don’t enjoy is that the cold weather makes working out seem less than desirable.

Would you agree?

Whether that’s down to looking like a wrapped up Egyptian mummy if you go for a run, risking slipping on ice and having a nasty fall or heating up the car for a good 5 minutes in the morning before heading to the gym…

All of those things combined can make the idea of exercising in winter just that bit tougher.

I get that it’s tempting to stay snuggled up in bed or on the sofa where it’s nice and warm. But winter shouldn’t be a time that your fitness plans hibernate – especially with all of the treats around in the run up, and even after Christmas.

So here’s how to make the most of your winter workouts:

1. Change Your Mind - Winter isn’t just about cold weather; it’s a whole new season!

We’re all so busy these days that time seems to fly by – which is why it’s important to reflect on our past accomplishments and current goals. Spend a bit of time sitting down and revisiting your goals, then plan out what you’d like to accomplish during the next few months.

It can help you see winter in a whole new light!

2. Go Out and Play! - If you can’t find the energy to work out, try ‘playing’ instead.

You can burn quite a few calories playing indoors or out. Play with your kids or grandkids whenever you see them - I love playing with my two boys and they can definitely make it feel like a workout!

You could even try ice-skating; it can burn more than 450 calories an hour!

Or if you have a bike, put your thermals on and get out on the road.

Cycling will definitely help keep you warm.

3. Get Creative At Home - Getting to the gym can be more of a hassle when it’s cold outside, so why not get creative at home and come up with different ways to exercise.

Whether you try a workout DVD, invest in a new piece of fitness equipment or just use your body weight for a workout – exercising at home can be convenient and fun.

As an added bonus, you don’t have to worry about catching a cold from a fellow gym goer either!

4. Try Something New - There’s nothing like signing up for a new class to get you up and moving during the chilly months.

By trying something new you reignite your motivation for fitness. Or why not try indoor sports like volleyball or tennis.

Participating in a regular activity that you’ve paid for is a fantastic way to stay active in winter.

You might even make some new friends or learn some new skills – it’s a win-win!

5. Set A Big Goal And Some Little Goals - Winter can leave some of us with hardly any motivation to exercise. So why not try heating things up with a challenge – a new goal.

It can be anything from losing some weight before Christmas to running a 5k. The most important thing about this is to pick a goal that you really want and one that will help you stretch beyond your comfort zone to reach it.

Setting a smart goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable action steps is a great way to start.

6. Get Excited - If you’ve never been a fan of winter then start focusing on what you DO love about it.

Whether that’s enjoying all the great, in-season food that you can enjoy…

Or curling up on the sofa with a big mug of hot chocolate, (sugar free of course, if we’re focusing on health goals) after a long workout.

There’s so much to love about winter when you embrace it.

So there you have it, 6 ways you can make the most out of your winter workout.

There’s so many great options, but make sure you always stay safe no matter what you do.

My tip for you – if you’re struggling to find a routine or have no idea where to start at keeping active, just go for a long walk – and while on that walk start to think about some of the things you might enjoy doing – and then commit to doing them even just once per week!

P.S. If you’ve got back pain that’s stopping you from being able to keep active right now, click here and you can download our free back pain guide to help you get moving again: https://www.paulgoughphysio.com/blog/