Winter exercise guide

When the colder months roll around, sometimes out fitness plans go out the door as we try to huddle indoors and keep warm.

But staying fit and active in winter is not as hard as you might think, particularly if you are well prepared.

There is no reason why you cannot continue with both indoor and outdoor training.

Let’s take a look at how you can get organised during this cold (and sometimes wet) period in order to keep on track with your goals.

Outdoor exercise:

Make sure you have suitable clothing to get through your exercise session. You will probably want to invest in a pair of tights, because these keep the leg muscles warm and minimise the risk of tearing a muscle. Layering is the best approach, because as you get warmer from training you can discard your external layers.

Start off by wearing a hat. A beanie or even just a cap can keep you warm at the beginning of your routine. As with jackets or gloves, you may need to take them off once you warm up, but they are very useful at the start.

Have a long warm-up. Because your body is starting from a colder point, you need to warm-up for longer to get the best out of your session and lower the risk of injury.

Maintain your water levels. It is a mistake to think you use less water in the cold than in the warm. When we exercise we sweat, and to keep our bodies functioning we need to replace this lost fluid with new water. Keep drinking throughout and after exercise.

Indoor exercise:

Join a sports team. There are lots of great ways to exercise by being part of a club. Basketball, volleyball, netball, indoor soccer and badminton are just some. Not only are these sports regular and fun, they have a strong social element too.

Consider aqua training. Getting out and involved in the pool can be extremely rewarding. Indoor pools are heated and can also be followed by a relaxing spa. Aqua classes are a favourite for many winter exercises because they are a total body workout and can be customized according to your level of fitness.

Look into spirit/body exercise classes. Pilates and yoga have taken off in popularity over the past decade, but it is no fluke. These activities offer a fantastic way to combine mental focus with physical strengthening and relaxation. Look into a class near you.

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