Now that Winter is quickly approaching, it is really important to get fit and stay fit over the winter months. Most people find it difficult to continue to exercise over the winter months. It is colder, wetter and often windier than any other season and so we all find excuses not to exercise regularly. We are also exposed to more colds and flus and this further depletes our immune system, impacting on our fitness and wellbeing.
There are a few things that can help.
· If you are not already exercising regularly, then start now. Then you can get into a regular pattern over the next 6-8 weeks. The current recommendation for exercise is a minimum 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes of physical activity. This can be a range of activities, but you need to start now and continue throughout the winter.
· It is really important that you choose a type of exercise that you like, then you are more likely to actually do this and continue to do it.
· Think about the winter weather and plan accordingly. Be flexible. If you like to walk, then keep walking but be flexible about the time of day or use a treadmill if the weather is bad. Or exercise undercover or, if you are exercising in poor weather, make sure you have appropriate clothing.
· Plan to exercise with someone else. This makes it more social and helps to maintain the commitment.
· Think about alternatives. Not everyone likes gym work, but you can do this all year round. You can take classes or just complete a program for yourself. You can also swim all year round. Remember the pools are heated!
· Other ideas include pilates classes, yoga, Zumba, group/team sport, cycling (stationary or road bike) and many others. Do something as a family. Remember, keeping fit is a year round commitment. Work hard and you will enjoy how you feel in the spring!
If you are unsure if a certain exercise is safe for you, consult your health practitioner to assist planning your new fitness and wellbeing program.