Winter is here and it’s getting cold and when it’s cold it’s really hard to stay motivated about your health and fitness.
We tend to take on a “snuggle up” mentality, we eat more and we do less, it’s called human hibernation. However we are not bears, we don’t need layers and layers of fat to survive the winter. And for this reason whilst our overindulgence feels good it also feeds Negativity. Too much chocolate, too many roast potatoes, the need for a looser fitting top and perhaps the avoidance of the mirror and scales. It can a spiral which we then become disappointed with our emerging spring physique. Exercise in winter can provide more benefit than exercise during the rest of the year because it specifically answers our winter body needs.
So as winter brings the cold, illness, the blues and isolation, why not consider the following reasons to keep exercising when the temperature drops.
While there are a limited number of foods that can provide your body with vitamin D, the easiest source is exposure of bare skin to sunlight. During summer a short exposure of 10-15 minutes is plenty, but in winter sunshine can be harder to come by especially if you are snuggled up indoors. So that’s why its VERY important to get outside and get moving and smile at the sun.
Sunshine makes strong bones, and keeps your immune system strong. It can also boost positivity, help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
Save an expanding waistline by heating your body up naturally with a workout. The rise in your body temperature during a work out has a soothing and calming effect on your body.
Yes its cold when you first step outside but if you layer up and get moving you will be hot in no time at all!
Research has shown time and time again that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. This becomes particularly important in the winter months when colds and flu rear their ugly heads.
When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections. But this boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects.
Whether it’s the usual winter blues or the more serious SAD (seasonal affective disorder) putting a gloom over the colder months a daily workout releases feel-good de-stress brain chemicals giving you a break from the daily grind and helps ease depression. Plus if you combine exercise with the great outdoors you can cheer yourself up even more.
We know that after exercise the brain releases the chemicals serotonin and dopamine which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting well-being. 45 minutes of exercise a day could change your whole outlook on winter.
Being cooped up with nothing but heaters to keep the air moving means fresh air is much harder to come by. Generally the air outside is healthier then what’s inside so going for a walk or run outside gives your lungs a chance to detox and breathe deeply without concern for breathing in other people’s bugs.
In the colder months it is so easy to turn to comfort food because its so satisfying and it makes us feel good. No wonder it’s known as the winter weight gain period. The average person puts on up to 4kgs. The only way to make up for that added intake is to increase the amount of exercise. Try to balance energy in and energy out, then the shredding of clothes in spring won’t be such a shock.