But baby, it’s cold outside…
We all know that regular exercise is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. But let’s be honest: finding the motivation to get moving when it’s cold out can be a real struggle! It’s not just the plunging temperatures that make winter fitness a challenge; depending where you live, daylight hours may be considerably shorter. Since hibernation isn’t an option, here’s how to get the blood pumping and stay active during the coldest months.
Making time to workout at this time of year is so important. Winter blues are real, making that rush of endorphins you get from exercise – or a sunshiney dose of vitamin D if you’re able to get outside during daylight hours – a real boost during colder months. With schools and offices a known hotbed for germs, regular exercise bolsters your immune system to keep seasonal colds and flus at bay. It keeps you toasty and warm, and can help maintain a healthy body weight – without compromising on all those delicious seasonal eats!
With that in mind, here are three ways to keep moving, and get motivated…
Gym closed? Snowed in? There’s an app for that! Apps like 7-Minute Workout use high-intensity interval training – or HIIT – for an effective session in just seven minutes. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a wall and a chair. Easy to follow, the free app guides and times users through 30-second bursts of a particular movement, followed by a 10 second rest period. Quick, efficient and ultra accessible, this is a great one for getting that heart pumping. Whether you use Android or Apple, there are loads of free apps out there, meaning even if you have to skip the gym, there’s no excuse to stay still!
Assuming sidewalks aren’t icy (or covered in snow), there’s no reason not to get out there for a brisk 20-minute jog before work. The trick, however, is to be prepared! That starts the night before: promising yourself not to hit snooze on your alarm, and laying out your running kit so you’re all ready to hit the pavement before you have time to talk yourself out of it! Thin, moisture-wicking layers are your friend here. Because body heat escapes through your hands, feet and head, grab some mittens or gloves, a hat – and if your running shoes allow, a second pair of socks.
Ever noticed how even the most graceful among us come over all awkward and shuffling when it comes to navigating slippery, wintery sidewalks? Walking on ice instinctively affects both posture and gait, as we compensate movement and balance to prevent occasional slips turning into painful falls. Throw thick, heavy boots into the equation, and while you’ll hopefully stay upright, you’re also putting strain on unaccustomed muscles and joints. Yoga is a great indoor workout for not just getting realigned, but also honing core muscles for improved balance. In particular, moves like warrior pose help open up those hip flexors to undo the tension of that overly cautious walking style so peculiar to icy conditions!
Whatever workout you choose, make sure your skin also stays in shape with a proper post-exercise cleanse. Things like dirt, oil and make-up can block sweat glands, inviting clogged pores and ultimately, breakouts. Because your skin is extra sensitive after working out, you should go gentle to avoid irritation. Keeping skin glowing all winter long, a LUNA facial brush elevates any fitness routine: use after working out to put your best face forward!
With a severe case of wanderlust, Ruby has thus far notched up twenty-seven countries… and counting.