Exercising in Winter. Regular physical activity has been strongly associated with better health, both physical and psychologically. It has been shown to maintain and improve cardiovascular health when done regularly. It helps maintain a strong bone density, muscle strength and even shown to help in depression, anxiety and stress management. With so many health benefits, and 9 months of working hard to reach our goals, why do we stop in the winter months?
What’s the answer? …There’s no one real answer as why we stop. Exercise needs to be a priority – It’s time to move.
Paradoxically, we can shake the lethargic washed out feeling we get and re-energize in the winter months with a regular exercise routine. It helps revitalize the mind in these stressful months, it helps shake the winter blues, and provides us with our healthy, ever elusive “me” time.
By having a sporadic exercise routine throughout winter, or even stopping completely, we increase our risk of injury when we DO participate in that social bike ride, tennis game or football match. By being active we condition our body to an increased performance level, to muscular efficiency while minimizing risk of injury. The body also maintains a heightened baseline for fitness, for which we can build our peak performance levels.
Caution must be used when exercising outside with the colder temperatures, and particular attention must be paid to:
• Cold air. Asthma and cold air are not the best combination. Proceed carefully
• A thorough exercise specific warm up
• A thorough post-exercise stretching session
• Be aware of your current fitness levels. Injuries occur when one progresses with exercises ‘too much too fast’ or when unfamiliar/inexperienced with the exercises.
As the days get shorter, colder, wetter, busier and darker, we need to select the right time for certain exercises, or modify the exercises we do for the conditions.
Here are some options. On a rainy winter day, why not swap your outdoor walking session for the treadmill or stationary bike; try an in-home yoga or Pilates session, or even a local indoor fitness class with a friend. We have the luxury of indoor fitness centres, and even free online yoga videos at our disposal, why not use them. Let’s keep moving – shorter, sharper and often.Are you unsure of which exercise is most appropriate for you? Aching back and joints? Are you carrying an injury that needs attention?
We can help you!
Come and talk to us today about how you can get through the winter months, and prepare for the warmer months.