As the cold weather approaches and the days get shorter, our motivation to get outside and active tends to wane. But don’t let good habits slide over the winter months – there are plenty of options to keep you moving.
- If it’s too cold and dark to walk before or after work, head out for a lunchtime walk instead. It’ll not only help to keep you fit but also prevent that afternoon energy slump and boost your vitamin D levels.
- Move your outdoor workouts indoors. Head to the gym or consider a home-based exercise program. An exercise physiologist or physiotherapist can help develop a personalised program that you can do with minimal equipment at home.
- Don’t let the wet weather be an excuse not to move. Rather than curling up in front of the television, try working out in front of the big screen instead. You could buy or hire an exercise DVD or there are plenty of online options to choose from, from dance classes to aerobics, and Pilates to Yoga.
- Take advantage of the cooler days and make the most of your weekends by heading out for a long bushwalk, hike or bike ride – activities which are less appealing in the hot summer sun.
- If you enjoy the water, investigate your local heated pool and head indoors to do a few laps or join an aqua class.
- While there’s something about a nice warm sunny day that motivates us to get outside, remember that moving is the fastest way to get warm on a cold winter’s day!
Finally, keep in mind that one of the many benefits of regular exercise is boosting your immune system. People who exercise regularly are less likely to get a cold and if they do, they recover faster. A good reason for all of us to stay active!
For more information: Find an Australian accredited exercise physiologist at https://www.essa.org.au/find-aep/
Nieman et al. Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Sep; 45 (12):987–92. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2010.077875. Epub 2010 Nov 1.