The Ultimate Advice To Staying Fit In The Cooler Months

The days are cooling off and maybe your motivation to keep fit is too. Well you’re not alone. A recent Gallup test run over 4 years from 2008 – 2011 shows that up to 50% of people show a rapid decline in regular activity during the winter months. Although a common trend in behaviour, not always the right side to lean towards. 

Regular exercise can positively impact mood, weight control, energy levels, help manage stress and encourage quality sleep, among other pluses. For example, a 2010 study found that adults who worked out on a consistent basis had significantly lower rates of depression than those who did so irregularly. Research has also shown that a hiatus from training can result in added kilos that are difficult to shed, even once you start exercising again.

But what about your fitness levels? “You will lose whatever advantages you’ve gained over time and be back down to couch potato status within three to six months, but the effect of inactivity starts within days,” says exercise physiologist J.P. Hyatt, an associate professor in the Department of Human Science in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. For starters, he points out that cardiopulmonary fitness can decrease by 20 percent within three to eight weeks of stopping your workouts.

Delia Roberts, an exercise physiologist who chaired the winter-sport interest group for the American College of Sports Medicine, agrees and explains “As soon as you start exercising at a reasonably high level — even just walking with purpose — about 40 percent of the energy you consume is lost as heat, and so your body very quickly warms up” she explains.

The key to maintaining optimal health all year round is your commitment to consistency.

Tips To Keep Fit In Winter :

1. Come prepared – layer up with appropriate clothing and have your extremities covered in really cold conditions to avoid losing the heat.

2. Find a purpose – establish your reason to stay active. This can be your personal motivator on those super chilli days. 

3. Make it a habit – Just like brushing your teeth in the morning. You wouldn’t stop that in winter! Keep your exercise a part of your routine and reep the benefits from staying active. 

4.Maintain a healthy diet – continue to eat a well balanced diet to help encourage a strong immune system and quality sources of energy. Variety in your diet is important for good health. 

5. Plan and prioritise – Your health is ultimately your greatest wealth so planning your workouts and prioritising regular exercise will help you look and feel your best all year round!

6. If it’s not working, change it! Find something you enjoy and will motivate you to get up and moving. 

7. Add in variety – Create a routine that is not dependent on just one form of exercise. For example if running is your only form of exercise and you do that outside, you may find some days harder than others to put on those running shoes and finally get going. Rest days are encouraged but too many missed days makes it difficult to establish routine again. 

8. Try a home workout or get active indoors – There’s nothing wrong with the option to stay in doors if you are just not a winter lover! Try out an exercise track or online class to keep you active indoors. 

Something is better than nothing , more often than not it’s just getting started and once you do and you start to warm up the body thrives from the exercise and movement.

At Fitness360 we offer women a wide variety of classes with a mixture of indoor and outdoor workouts to help keep motivation, intensity and community morale high. It’s about finding the right environment for you to thrive in and maintain your progress all year round. If you would like to learn more about how you could get involved , head to our website and enquire today.