Winter is here and it’s cold, and when it’s cold, it’s really hard to stay motivated about your health and fitness! Winter brings the blues, illness, the cold and isolation. You might want to snuggle up indoors, but it’s during the colder months that getting active is even more important.
5 reasons why you should brave the cold and get moving:
- Beat the Winter Blues
The winter blues can make everything feel and look more miserable in the winter months. Regular exercise will make you feel more energetic, give you a break from the daily grind and help ease depression, which should help make it a little easier to get out of your warm bed on cold, dark mornings. We know that after exercise, the brain releases the “feel-good” and “de-stress” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing. 45 minutes in the day could change your whole outlook on winter!
- Stay Healthy
We are well into the cold and flu season ladies and let’s be honest, motivation levels to work out are at a low. Exercising regularly not only makes you feel better when those endorphins kick in but your body’s defences will also benefit. Research has shown time and time again that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infection, this becomes particularly important in winter when colds and flu are a high risk. When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections, therefore giving your immune system a boost.
- Keep Warm
Yes, it’s cold when you first step outside, but if you layer up and get moving you will be hot in no time. One of the best things about working out in winter is that the human body expends more energy to stay warm, meaning your heart works harder and you therefore burn more calories when training. The rise in your body temperature during a workout has a soothing, calming effect on your body, not unlike a long soak in a warm bath or lying in front of the heater. So save on your electricity and an expanding waistline by heating your body up naturally with a workout.
- Avoid the ‘Winter Weight Gain’
In winter we tend to take on the ‘human hibernation’ mentality; snuggle up, eat more, do less. In the colder months, it is so easy to turn to comfort food because it’s so satisfying and it makes us feel good, well for a little while anyway, and then we feel guilty. The only way to make up for those added treats is to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing. Wearing baggy clothes and avoiding mirrors does not set us up for our spring bodies. The efforts you put in now will pay dividends for your health goals come spring and summer, while hibernating for winter could put you back at square one. Try and balance your energy in and energy out then the shredding of clothes in spring won’t be such a shock!
- Workout With Others
With winter providing added ammunition not to train, it’s more important than ever to set goals to get excited about your fitness journey. Working out with others during winter helps spread that excitement and provides the added bonus of being accountable to someone else, especially if you’re a serial snooze button pusher. Helping others through their fitness journey will make them feel good but will also in turn make you feel good too. Working out with others proves you’re all in this fitness journey together and it can really make that added difference doing that extra workout each week. It’s a good excuse to warm up over a coffee after a class to get inspired and inspire others on your health and fitness journey.
By Jess Sealeaf, XTEND Instructor