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While you might feel like curling up on the sofa in your onesie and watching back to back Corrie, your mind, body and soul will thank you for keeping up with your exercise routine over the winter months.
The cold wind and early evening darkness might not be as inviting as balmy summer evenings for a run, but we have had a look at how to keep fit and strong, however chilly it gets.
Don’t stop moving
In the summer, we tend to exercise before it gets too hot, so in the winter you need to reverse this and try to workout before it gets dark and your motivation is lost. Either go to the gym before work, run during your lunch hour or plan morning bike ride that will get those endorphins pumping around your body for the rest of the day.
Get the kit
By the end of your jog you should be sweating, but before you step out of the door the goose bumps will be there if you are only in a vest and shorts. The key to winter success when it comes to exercise clothing is layering. Thermal running tights, bright trainers, warm t-shirts and soft socks won’t just look cool, they will feel good against your skin and help regulate your body temperature. If you are exercising in the dark, go for a hi-vis top and even a head torch so you can easily be seen.
If you really can’t get to grips with exercising outside in December, tap into online options. Whether it is HIIT training, Pilates, interval cycling or Zumba, there’s a wide range of sporting options that you can do at home, but you still need to put in the effort if you want to see the results.
Get a buddy
One way to ensure you get out and get going is to have an accountability buddy. If you know you’ll let someone else down if you don’t hit the gym, it’ll be harder to skip your workout. Whether it’s a friend, sister, partner, work colleague or neighbour, find someone with similar interests and make a pact to do this together.
Have a goal
Just as it can help having someone to work with, it is also motivating to have a goal to aim for. Whether you are going to complete a 5k charity run, train for a marathon or take part in the London to Brighton bike ride, write down your goals, put them somewhere you can see them and go for it.
Ice cold water is refreshing in July, but it is actually essential all year round. When you exercise it is really important to drink plenty of water otherwise you can end up feel tired, lethargic and dehydrated which will take away your motivation to get moving. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, sip little and often and aim for at least two litres of H2O a day.
Whatever you do, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be home. If you are exercising outside after dark, choose a well-lit route, wear bright clothing and be wise when wearing ear phones in quiet areas.