As we plunge into the depths of Winter, it makes sense to put a bit more thought into staying fit and healthy. Here’s a few tips to send you flying into Spring…
This should really be a mantra for the whole year, the old adage about “failing to plan, then plan to fail” certainly rings true for many of us. However, in Winter the temptation to stay in bed, stay in front of the fireplace, eat “hearty” meals and generally procrastinate can derail the best intentions. Put your training sessions into your diary or planner and stick to it.
Think about what you are eating. Top up your immune system by eating lots of antioxidant-containing fruit, especially seasonal citrus fruit such as mandarin, oranges and grapefruit.
Winter vegetables are also full of antioxidants –broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms, potato and silverbeet. Add vegetables to all your winter dishes.
There’s no doubt that having a specific reason to train is a great motivator. Whether it be an event, a personal best or a pair of jeans you want to get back into, find something that makes you happy. Maybe even post a photo of it on your fridge or desktop.
As part of your planning, check out the weather, if “rain, hail or snow” is not your ideal training environment plan an indoor session. That might be with your personal trainer, at the gym, or even at home. You might try rock climbing or go for a swim, maybe the “forgotten” sport of squash, it’s a good run around. On the flipside, Winter actually throws up its fair share of pretty sunny days. Take advantage of these, get out there, enjoy a little bit of vitamin D and given that you are exercising you will probably enjoy the cooler temperatures!
Dress accordingly, particularly if you are going outside. You can always shed layers as you go but the last thing you want to do is under dress. It’s a good idea to cover up your extremities when it is very cold, remember the cap and gloves. Another tip for all year round but particularly on darker winter days is to be visible. Doesn’t matter how loud it is, be seen be safe.
Super important to include a good warm up in your routine in Winter. 5 – 10 mins of raising your heart rate and some dynamic stretching should do the trick, do it inside before you head out on a frosty morning.
It’s easy to forget this important aspect of staying healthy in the cooler weather. We still exercise, and therefore sweat, plus we spend a lot of time in heated buildings so it is essential that you maintain adequate hydration levels all year round.
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Time goes so fast these days, it must, everyone says it. Keep that in mind when you opt for another serve of pudding over a weights session. As Shelley wrote Spring is not far away, or Summer for that matter. Get ahead of the game this year and enjoy feeling great during those warmer months.