It can be tough to muster up enough motivation to come out of hibernation during the winter and to follow your regular exercise routine. While resting up and keeping warm during the winter is great, we must remember that outdoor exercise is good for both the body and the mind and we need to keep our regular exercise routines no matter the time of year. Exercising during the winter is a great way to keep healthy and strengthen the immune system and getting a daily dose of Vitamin D is great for physical and mental health. Exercising during the winter also aids in avoiding winter weight gain.
If you’re looking to up your exercise game this winter or simply looking to maintain your regular routine, consider these tips from Fairfield Physiotherapy.
Plan ahead and make sure you have the appropriate gear for exercise. Before your workout, make sure you have all the appropriate clothing and shoes. If you’re working out in the morning, plan your outfit the night before so that you’re ready to go as soon as you’re awake! Remember to layer up with breathable, long-sleeved clothing and a beanie and gloves to stay extra warm.
On wet days, it’s important that your footwear has a lot of traction. If you are exercising in a snowy or icy area, it is important to have appropriate shoes with spikes.
Since the days of winter are shorter, you may find yourself limited to exercising in the morning before the sun is up and in the evening after the sun goes down. If this is the case for you, make sure to wear bright colors or reflective strips to ensure you are seen and safe.
Find a Friend
Finding a friend to work out with is a great way to keep motivated and keep exercise fun. Aside from this, you may also get more out of the session and maybe more motivated to try other types of exercise. Working out with a friend in winter is a great idea as you can keep an eye out for each other in the dark or wet weather conditions.
Remember To Stay Hydrated
You may not feel as thirsty after a winter workout compared to a summer one, however, your body is still losing fluids through your sweat and breath, even in lower temperatures. Replace them by drinking lots of water after your workout. As a guideline, the body normally needs about 2 litres of water a day, however, the intensity of your workout and your body may require less or more water. Listen to your body to gauge how much water you will need before and after your workout.
Change Out Of Damp Clothing
Always have a change of clothes handy after your workout. The best thing to do is to cool down with gentle exercise and stretches to avoid creating stress on the heart. The easiest way to do this is to go from strenuous exercise to less intense for the final stage of your workout. Then once breathing has normalized, repeat your warm-up and perform some stretches.
Reward yourself after your exercise session with a healthy meal full of whole grains for energy and proteins for muscle repair. Make sure to eat plenty of veggies and salads too. Other types of rewards you can go for can include a hot shower or steam after your workout or simply relaxing with TV or a book.
Remember that it’s important to take rest days too. Allow for your muscles to recover in-between days of exercise. As a guideline, your muscles should not experience pain from exercise any longer than 2 days.
When To Take A Break
If it’s a frosty or very rainy day, it’s ok to take a break and reschedule. Injuries from slipping or falling can be serious and may take a long time to heal, so it is best to avoid them if possible.
If you have any further questions or concerns about keeping healthy and active during the winter, do not hesitate to speak to one of our physiotherapists for more information and advice. Book an appointment online or call Fairfield Physiotherapy at 9489 7744.