Winter Exercise – our top tips
Exercising outside in winter can be difficult as the daylight hours continue to be short. But the positive impacts on your physical and mental health mean it is important to do as much as you safely can.
Staying mobile is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Being outdoors in natural settings can boost your mood and help reduce anxiety and depression.
So how can you stay active and enjoy these benefits when it can be hard to motivate yourself in the wet winter weather?
Our top tips for staying active this winter
Make it social – company can help you stay committed to exercise as you encourage each other to get outside and get moving. Plus you have the added benefit of socialising to elevate your mood. Buddy up and get moving!
Track your progress – there are several apps and devices available that can keep track of your fitness progress. But it’s fine to keep it simple too! You could time yourself on a regular walking route and aim to better it next time. Tracking your progress helps you stay committed.
Mix it up – studies have shown that by varying the type of exercise you do you can increase your overall enjoyment of being active. So why not clear the garden or go for a winter walk to blow away the cobwebs. Home-based workouts and online yoga classes are perfect for those rainy days.
Appreciate the season – you could immerse yourself in a silent woods or revel in the beauty of a morning frost. Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce your heart rate and muscle tension as well as alleviating stress.
Be prepared – If you are going outside remember to check the forecast and dress appropriately. Layers are key to ensuring you don’t get too cold, or overheat from exercise. Sensible shoes for the weather is also important. Make sure they provide suitable ankle support and provide extra grip in wet conditions.
If you will be outside in the dark think about wearing reflective clothing and carrying a torch. Be mindful of your personal safety by telling someone where you will be and what time you expect to return.
It is always important to stay hydrated when exercising and to stop what you are doing if you feel faint or nauseous.
If you are worried about exercising because you are in pain or have developed an injury please contact an osteopath. They will be able to assess you and create a treatment and exercise plan.
If you can, enjoy being outside and staying active this winter.