24 Feb Staying active in colder months
Staying active in colder months can feel like a near impossible task. You get home from a long day at work, it’s dark and drizzly outside, and there is no part of you that feels like getting out and going for a walk. Next thing you know, you’re curled up on the sofa with your latest box set obsession and a cup of tea.
If this sounds all too familiar then don’t worry, you’re very much not alone. But if we are wanting to reach for our health and fitness goals then something needs to budge here. As much as we can all relate to this feeling of complete lack of motivation, if we want to see change in ourselves or our lives then we need to change the way we are thinking and behaving. That’s why we have put our heads together and come up with some top tips for a ‘mind over matter’ approach to staying active in colder months.
1. Why is it that you want to get active?
Reminding ourselves of WHY it is that we actually want to be more active is an important step in determining where the motivation lies. You can read our previous blog post on ‘What’s your why?’ here but the general gist is that you need to delve a bit deeper than simply ‘to lose weight’ or ‘to be slimmer’. Is it because there is a specific health concern that you are wanting to improve or is it so that you can stay fit and agile to play with your kids/grandkids? What ever it may be, it’s worth thinking about it and maybe writing it down somewhere to refer back to when the motivation in slipping.
2. Preparation is key!
If you are planning to go for a morning walk/jog then make sure you have set out your exact outfit and any other bits you may need to the night before. This way when you wake up you have a lot less to think about before heading out the door. Similarly if you are intending to go to the gym after work, bring your change of clothes with you that day and go straight there from work. This removes the temptation that lies in getting home and saying ‘I’ll go in a bit’.
3. Make the most of daylight hours!
Between October and March most Brits don’t get direct sunlight meaning that our bodies aren’t able to synthesis enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bone health and helps regulate the calcium in our body. If you work during the day then make the most of your lunch break and aim to get out on a short walk. We are recommended to do 150minutes of moderate physical activity per week (by Public Health England). If you can manage a 20 minute walk on your lunch break 5 days a week, you will have already achieved 140 of those 150 minutes before the weekend!
4. Find indoor activities that you enjoy
If you’ve tried all of the above but the prospect of heading out into the cold is still proving to be too much of a challenge then why not look into finding an indoor exercise class to join. Gyms are the obvious place to turn to for this but often local community centers or village halls run weekly activities including gender specific or mother and child classes.
5. Sign up to a FREE Adult Weight Management course with Healthy Hearts!
Our weekly group sessions include 30 minutes of physical activity which is lead by a well qualified instructor. This is a great place to start if you are new to exercise and have concerns about joining a generic gym class. Our trainers will be able to provide simplified alternatives to the exercises to make the session inclusive to all members. The physical activity is followed by nutrition advice with one of our very own Health Practitioners. Why not give it a go?