Staying healthy in winter is a challenge even for the most disciplined athletes. There’s less sunlight, we sleep for longer and often enjoy much more carb-centric diets. As a result, it’s both much easier to pack on the pounds and much harder to motivate yourself to move. So what can you do to make sure you don’t lose your fitness mojo? Here’s our advice for training in winter.
The frosty breeze and ice-coated pavements of winter can make exercising outdoors much more difficult than usual. That’s where your local EVO club can come in (even more) handy. Sign up and avoid bracing the bitter weather – and sometimes dangerous conditions – of the coldest season. With our range of equipment, classes, facilities and expert personal trainers, we’ve got everything you need to excel in functional fitness, all year round.
Extreme sports are winter’s frosty forte – so if you’ve got a penchant for thrills, try taking to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding. You’ll learn new skills, have loads of fun and keep fit (the perfect trio). For a more accessible winter sport that’s likely closer to home – pop on your skates and head to your local ice rink, where you can tone up your leg muscles and improve your balance throughout the season.
When you’ve only got yourself to answer for, keeping to a schedule can be tough. That’s why it’s a great idea to make an external commitment to someone or something else. Book a weekly exercise class or ask your friend or partner to get involved in your workouts: you’ll be far more likely to stick to the plans you make and will probably end up having more fun getting fit, too.
Chilly outside? No problem. Wrap up warm and revamp your winter wardrobe with some specially designed activewear. Many personal trainers recommend that you wear at least three layers of clothing: a shirt, something that’ll keep you warm (such as a fleece or woolly jumper) and a waterproof jacket. Also, make sure to protect your hands and toes with thick socks and gloves, as a lot of your body heat escapes from these areas.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – where you experience low moods in darker conditions – consider shaking up your exercise plan. Working out earlier (such as during lunchtime or in the early afternoon) will help make the most of the sun and stay on top of your health. There’s an extra plus to doing this, too: research shows that working out helps people with depression, anxiety and even those who specifically suffer from SAD feel better, as it releases endorphins which make you happier.
It’s always easier to work out when you’re working towards something, don’t you think? Sign up to an event such as a marathon or triathlon (something that’ll require lots of prep beforehand), so that you’re obliged to push through your winter funk. You could even incentivise yourself further by adding a charitable twist, getting others to sponsor you so that you’re even more inspired to give your fitness efforts your all.
Feeling inspired by these training tips? There’s a lot more where that came from over on our official fitness blog.