As much as I love winter because there is nothing like snuggling up in your onesie and ugg boots, I have to admit that it can become quite hard to stay motivated to exercise and maintain your outdoor routine ,and you soon notice that your motivation slowly starts to crumble with each drop of rain and gust of wind that passes by.
A recent survey actually showed that winter leaves people feeling demotivated, deprived of sleep and irritable, so don’t worry folks, it’s not just you!
-48% of those surveyed believe they suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
-18% of people eat more than usual to cheer themselves up
-16% find it difficult to sleep
-15% believe winter depression makes them argumentative
There is the mentallity behind the winter blues but there’s also a scientific reason;
Lack of sunlight reduces the amount of serotonin we produce – which is a hormone that makes us feel happy, sort of like a endorphin!
I can totally relate to all of those statistics, but did you know that exercise can actually help clear your winter blues, and chances are, you’ll be in tip top shape once the weather warms up.
Be creative and don’t stop just because the rain is pouring! To wake up to a fitter and healthier you come spring, here are some tips to stay motivated and keep the body you love during the cold winter months!
Keep Your Eye on The Prize
A fit and healthy body doesn’t happen overnight. Many people see the colder weather as an excuse to cover up in bulky clothing and hibernate in the comfort of their own home. However, you didn’t get your killer body sitting on the couch or looking at yourself in turtlenecks and flared jeans. Wearing oversized jackets and scarves that cover every inch of your flesh can be tricky because it’s necessary to stay warm, but doesn’t serve as any motivation. Wearing fitted clothes will keep you remembering why you worked out so hard during the spring to attain a rocking summer beach body.
Focus on all the effort you put in beforehand and how good you felt when you were exercising. It will not only increase your energy level, but you’ll sleep better, which is always a plus. Look forward to the warmer months and all the pool parties and beach vacations that will be taken. Constantly staying in shape and working up a sweat will take the pressure off of losing the winter weight.
Take the time to remember why you worked so hard in the first place and realize that a healthier, happier and fitter you is something that takes around the clock work.
Switch Up Your Routine
If you’re a person who loves to exercise outdoors, use the change of weather as a time to try something new and change up your own workout plan. Map out a new routine at the start of each season and find a different way to stay in shape because there are thousands of ways to stay active. Prepare for winter by buying a package at the local yoga studio or purchase some personal training sessions at the gym.
If you’re used to exercising after work or in the evening, try to make adjustments and workout in the morning. At the end of the day, you’re more likely to opt out of exercising if you’re tired and stuck in traffic because of bad weather. Exercising in the morning gets your workout out of the way so you relax at night and get cozy on the couch.
Try A Winter Sport
Winter weather offers a wide array of fun activities to do that can involve the whole family. Try a new winter sport like ice skating, skiing, snowboarding or even sledding. Taking up a new activity that has an expiration date can be motivating because in a couple months, your opportunity will have melted away. Incorporating a new activity in your life is beneficial for you and your family. Take a group ski lesson with some friends or spend an afternoon running through the snow and sledding with your family. Any way to stay active is a good way.
If you’re that person who loves to run outside, whether rain or shine, then it’s important to be prepared for the winter worst. For many people, cold air can trigger chest pain or trouble breathing. Make sure if you have any medical conditions or concerns about exercising outside, check with your doctor beforehand.
Dress in layers that are easy to take on and off and made of sweat resistant materials. Having drenched clothes mixed with a wind chill is a recipe for spending the next few days sick in bed, so wear the proper attire. It’s important to still use sunscreen if you plan to stay active outdoors. The snow reflects the sun’s rays, keep your skin protected.
Invest in Fitness DVD’s
An exercise DVD makes it easier to exercise at any time, any season. Research some DVDs online and find the type of exercise you would like to do at home. If you have a limited space, try a Yoga or Pilates DVD because it involves a lot of mat work, which is great for apartment living. If you have more space, try a Zumba fitness DVD or even a full body workout that incorporates strength training and plyometrics. Find what type of workout works for you, in the space that you have available. Many libraries carry exercise DVDs that you can rent out, so call your local library and see what they have available.
Prevent Getting Sick
The more fit you are, the less likely you are to get sick during winter. It’s no surprise that colder weather brings runny noses and winter coughs. Keep yourself moving, put the right foods into your body and make sure you continue your healthy lifestyle to prevent you from contracting any illness. No one wants to spend the holidays stuck in bed, so burn those calories, even if they seem frozen.
Amp Up Your Vitamin D
Less natural sunshine means lower Vitamin D levels!
Not only is Vitamin D great for our bones but it is also an immune system regulator so it helps arm the immune system against disorders like the common cold.
You can increase your Vitamin D by eating foods like salmon, tuna and mackerel, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks, but if all of these sound as gross to you as they do to me, you can take and should take a Vitamin D supplement like Ostelin.
Visit www.ostelin.com.au for more info about Vitamin D benefits and supplements.
Stay warm folks! :)