Tips to stay active in winter

Not in the mood to get active? We get it, not everyone enjoys the cold. However, a bit of winter exercise is just as warming to our bodies as the delicious comfort food we all know and love. And who doesn’t like being warm in winter?

There are some things in life that release chemicals in our brains and make us feel a million bucks. Exercise is one, vitamin D from sunlight is another. Or as the Old El Paso girl says, why not both?

Exercise in the winter sun is glorious and generally not too chilly in many parts of Australia. This leads us to our first winter exercise tip:

1. Walk or run in the winter sun

Winter is perfect for late risers. Unlike summer, you don’t have to wake up at dawn to enjoy a run in mild temperatures.

If you’d like some company to get you into your stride, you can join one of the many running clubs around the country.

For a slower pace, join your local Heart Foundation Walking group. They’ll help you keep a nice pace and might even help as a windbreak if you’re smart about your positioning on windy days.

And don’t forget your sun safety folks. slip slop slap seek slide as the Cancer Council ad goes. Read more about vitamin D and sun protection here.

2. Schedule smarter

We all know how quickly time can fly by when you haven’t planned your week. Many of us are time poor, but can you really afford to be health and mind poor? Exercise has body and mind benefits that benefit us at work and at home and the people around us. Do a good deed – shoehorn exercise into your weekly schedule.

One extra tip: before you perch yourself on the couch at night, get changed into your gym clothes and get cracking. Better still, go straight from work to the gym.

3. Make a small start with a home gym

Want to get into the gym but don’t know where to start? YouTube can set you up with a beginner routine and help you use the right form when using weights.

Just having one piece of equipment like a yoga mat at home can provide the right setting to do a little workout at home when you don’t have the time to get to the gym or know you don’t have the motivation required.

Try one or two workouts a week at home before adding a second or third at a better equipped gym if you need to. By then your exercise endorphins will have raised your motivation stocks to continue the good habit.

Your home gym need not cost a toned arm and a leg. If this staff writer knows one thing, it’s how to cheaply get a gym fix. Resistance bands are all the rage now and there are plenty of YouTube workouts to follow along with. Not only are they an affordable option, they are light, versatile and don’t take up much room in your home. And if you are worried about missing out on big core exercises, fear not. Resistance bands allow you to deadlift, squat, press, curl and build your strength.

4. Take up some fun indoor exercise options

Too cold to venture outdoors? Indoor netball, swimming, basketball, cricket, soccer and squash are all good options to get yourself some regular cardio.

Enjoy getting out and about? Try your hand at indoor rock climbing, 10-pin bowling, laser tag and see if the kids will let you have a go at the trampoline park (if you’ve got the requisite coordination, of course).

Jokes aside, make the effort to get involved and warm your body up with some exercise this winter.

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