As the cold weather sets in and the days get darker and gloomier, it’s easy to lose motivation and neglect your health and fitness regime. Winter however, is as important a time as any to maintain your health and fitness. Not only will this enhance your chances of fending off colds and the flu, but it will also ensure that your health and fitness levels are maximal when the warmer weather arrives. Here are my top tips for staying fit and healthy over the winter months.
Pick your time right
Exercising first thing in the morning is ideal because it will prevent you from skipping it later in the day when other activities may pop up or when the warmth of your heater is calling you home. If you’re unable to exercise before work, plan your day and pack your exercise gear so that you can exercise before you return home after work. It’s really difficult to leave the house once you’re home and comfortable. The couch can be very alluring when it’s cold, wet and windy outside.
Stretch and warm up
The last thing you want is to be sidelined this winter from injuries. The colder weather means your muscles need that extra bit of warming up, and the risk of injury can be increased if you don’t. Always warm up sufficiently before your workout and stretch properly afterwards to ensure you stay injury free.
Make the most of every moment
Sometimes it can be impossible to set aside a block of time for a workout but this doesn’t mean you have to forgo exercise altogether. Look for ways to integrate exercise into your day. Rather than driving to work, leave a little bit earlier and walk some or all of the way instead. At lunchtime, grab a scarf and go for a vigorous 20-minute walk or try a lunchtime boxing or yoga class.
Try a winter sport
The colder weather offers various unique and fun activities. Try a new sport like skiing, snowboarding or ice skating. Starting a new activity that has an expiration date can be motivating because in a couple months, your opportunity will have melted away.
Supercharge your immune system
In order to strengthen your defenses against winter colds and flus, supercharge your immune system by incorporating immune boosting foods into your diet. Plant foods are rich sources of all the essential nutrients that your immune system needs to function effectively. Green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds are all nutritional powerhouses and are rich sources of vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc, each of which has been proven to reduce the likelihood of contracting the common cold.
Don’t let a cold ruin your routine
Regardless of how often you exercise and how well you eat, illness is sometimes unavoidable. If a cold does catch you, there’s no need to stop exercising altogether. Instead, try gentler activities such as walking and stretching to maintain good habits. Keeping your routine will make it easier to get back into your regular regime when you’re back to feeling 100 per cent.
So there you have it, 6 excellent ways to stay fit and healthy throughout winter. Keep active and eat well so that your health and fitness doesn’t take a turn for the worse in the colder months.