It’s cold out there, so how do you keep up your workout momentum? Once winter has set in, the motivation to maintain your exercise regime can dwindle.

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However Winter is actually an excellent time to continue a healthy workout routine. The weather is cooler, keeping your core body temperature down. However cold, dark mornings with freezing temperatures can discourage even the most motivated person from exercising, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

What Types of Exercise Should you do in Winter?
All types of exercise are suited to Winter, however you just might feel more motivated to do some kinds over others. Given the brisk temperature of Winter mornings, you can’t complain about the heat so getting out on your morning walk or run is a great option. If you can’t face the cold, dark outdoors stay indoors and do some resistance training such as squats, push ups or tricep dips. If your motivation is really lacking you might also like to complete these exercises in front of the TV, or try an exercise DVD. No matter what type of exercise you pick, be sure to complete a good warm up and cool down to give your body time to adjust to the temperature and spend time on your stretching to avoid injury.

What to Wear
If you’re heading outdoors for your routine ensure you rug up to minimise injury. Layers are a must as they can be removed as you warm up rather than wearing one large coat or jumper which may cause you to overheat. If it’s dark be sure to also wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing so oncoming traffic and other exercisers can see you.

When Should You Tackle Winter Exercise?
Light or dark, morning or night, anytime is a great time to exercise in Winter. It’s really up to you and what works best for your schedule. If neither morning nor evening work for you, aim to get out for at least a 10 minute walk in your lunch break. Remember something is better than nothing, so if it’s too dark to do your usual hour walk in the morning, wait half an hour and do a half hour walk instead. If you don’t already have one, pick yourself up a pedometer such as a FitBit to help you track your daily steps so you know where you’re at for your daily activity.

Motivation
Motivation can be the biggest hurdle to your Winter workout routine. When the cooler climate sets in, we instinctively hit the snooze button and stay snuggled under our doonas resisting the need to get up and into our workout gear. If you find it impossible to get up and get dressed, have your workout gear ready and next to the bed, or better yet wear some to bed so you just need to pull on a jumper and shoes. Being already half the way there will take the sting out of wandering around in the cold trying to find something to wear. Also try to keep your healthy lifestyle goals in sight. Don’t use winter as excuse to make excuses for why you can’t workout.

A Word on Nutrition
In Winter you can be tempted to indulge in comfort food. Check out our tips to help you make healthier choices this Winter and don’t forget to load up on immune boosting vitamins and minerals to fend off the flu.

Words by Amanda Durbridge

via Wesley LifeShape Clinic