When the sun is up and the nights are long, staying motivated to keep yourself in shape is fairly easy. However, when the weather turns and the evenings become cold and dark at a relatively early hour, many find they start making excuses to miss their daily workout. With this in mind here are a few tips to ensure this doesn't happen this winter.
First of all, the fact that it is cold outside means you are more likely to keep moving. Indeed, in really cold conditions no amount of clothing is going to keep you warm unless you create enough body heat to do just that. Therefore, many find that the necessity for staying warm means that they actually burn more calories in the cold months than they do in the summer. Furthermore, there is nothing better than a good workout outdoors to lift the dark moods that often accompany the winter months, as your body creates plenty of the chemical, serotonin during a workout, which is essential to staying positive.
Many people find that they suffer more injuries in the colder months, which of course can lead you to lose interest. This is because people begin their routine with the body still insufficiently warm, as it takes so much longer to warm up effectively when it is cold. Therefore, doing some extra warm up exercises in cold weather is essential.
Specialists such as those at Reebok Fitness recommend you warm up for at least ten minutes using constant dynamic movements as these will help raise your body temperature the best. Therefore, exercises such as a five-minute jog or rope jumping followed by a few 'high knees', 'butt kicks' and 'windmills' should be done before you face the outdoors.
However, even having carried out a suitable warm up routine, you will still need to ensure you insulate those vulnerable areas. The most vulnerable areas are those such as your nose and ears, your hands and your head, so make sure you cover these effectively. In addition, it is advisable to wear both a moisturiser and a lip balm to ensure your lips and skin are protected. Whatever clothing you choose to cover these areas, it is best to choose bright colours, as it is likely to be dark when you are exercising in the winter.
For those who tend to keep their workouts to the confines of a gym, the winter months are the ideal time to try something new and move the workout outside. As noted above, there is nothing better to banish those winter blues, often triggered by Seasonal Affective Disorder due to the lack of sun, than exercising in the fresh air. A brisk walk is always a good place to start, whilst fun activities such as ice-skating are ideal.
Finally, a great way to stay motivated whatever the time of year is to incorporate a competitive element into your fitness routines. This can be especially good for getting all the family involved as making things fun is the most vital factor in keeping the kids motivated. Devise a few competitions and draw up a leaders table. You could even start awarding gold medals to the winners.