Now I’ve got you humming along to Ray Charles or Gerry and the Pacemakers, haven’t I?
There is a direct correlation between the declining average temperature and the level of motivation to exercise for most.
Let’s face it; winter is a pretty miserable time to be outside. It’s cold, grey and often wet – hardly an appealing prospect for exercise enthusiasts and wannabes alike.
However, for the sake of your health and wellbeing, it is essential to keep active over the colder months and not fall into the trap of ‘human hibernation’. It’s especially important to keep moving, with all the additional time that we have spent indoors over the last year or so.
Still not convinced? Here are just some of the reasons why you should prioritise exercise during winter:
I can hear you saying “but it’s so cold – why on Earth would I go outside?” Good point – it’s a bleak prospect. The fact of the matter is though; exercise creates natural heat through your body. In fact, our metabolic rate increases slightly in colder weather allowing our bodies to stay warm – all while burning a few extra calories. With no heat or humidity to deal with, you should be able to exercise for longer, meaning it will be easier to hit your fitness goals over the winter months if you approach them properly.
This is also a good way to cut household costs – next time you’re thinking of blasting the heater, consider going for a brisk run or walk instead. Your body (and your bank account) will thank you for it.
Banish those winter blues with sweet sunshine
Okay, I was just talking about how bleak and miserable it is in winter. I wasn’t lying; however, living in Australia means we’re still likely to find the sun breaking through on occasion during even the greyest of weeks. If you see the sun poking through the clouds, use this as your cue to soak up some vitamin D. You can read our previous blog about this here.
Getting outdoors can help prevent the common ‘winter blues’ or the more serious seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is thought to be a biochemical result of a lack of daylight, causing reduced production of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’.
If you’re working from home and you see the sun come out, try and move your workstation to the backyard or balcony if you have one to soak up the rays.
It’s natural to retreat to the comfort of your own home in winter – who doesn’t like curling up with multiple layers of clothing, warm food and Netflix?
As we continue to adjust to the changing restrictions and spend a lot of our time at home or indoors, staying connected with friends and family is increasingly important. With the abundance of technology, there is no shortage of ways to stay connected! Whether you prefer to keep it old school and catch up or chat on the phone, or whether you’re up for a little virtual trivia session, staying connected has never been easier.
I have found the best way is to tee-up a time for your group to lock in. That way it’s easier for everyone to balance with their ‘new normal’, and lock into their schedules. If you have family in different time zones, try and lock a time in on the weekend, as it’s easier to account for the difference without missing out on your sleep.
Why not meet up with some friends and enjoy a nice walk, run or bike ride together through a local park? Just remember to keep up-to-date with the Government guidelines for your state and local area.
Avoid winter weight gain
Red wine, hot chocolate, gooey cheese and hearty soup. No, this is not my plan for tonight (unfortunately). Do they sound like your winter comfort foods, though?
It is so easy to fall into the trap of eating for comfort during the colder months, and I’m not going to get on my high horse and preach that I don’t love some good, hearty food when I’m feeling cold… This is not the answer though!
What winter should be is an opportunity to get yourself fit and healthy.
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism notes that being outside in cold weather helps transform white fat (i.e. belly and thigh fat) into brown fat, which is commonly known as the ‘good fat’ as it helps burn, rather than store, calories.
As always, please let us know if there are any particular topics you would love us to look into or you have any queries or concerns.