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How to stay active in the cooler months

Posted by Shannon, April 2014

As the days get shorter and the warm, sunny weather disappears, finding the motivation to exercise can be tough.

Most of us would rather sit on the couch with a warm cup of tea and a book, than head out into the cold for some physical activity.

Regular physical exercise is a fantastic way to reduce your cancer risk and getting out in the fresh air will also help keep the winter blues at bay!

But you will never regret a workout; however you will regret the workout you skipped. Here are some steps you can take to make winter exercise easier and more enjoyable!

  1. Warm your body and your mind: If the grey, gloomy weather has you feeling cold and miserable, why not warm up inside and out with an endorphin-pumping brisk walk, cycle or jog! It’s not called a runner’s high for nothing…
  2. Use your lunch break: Make the most of those middle-of-the-day maximum temperatures and go for a walk or a jog during your lunchbreak. It’s also a great time to get some of that essential vitamin D during May to August in Victoria, when the UV is low (below three).
  3. Head indoors: If you simply cannot bear the thought of exercising outside, take your workout indoors. Swim in heated pools, hit the gym or take part in a group fitness class, such as kickboxing, aerobics, yoga or Pilates.
  4.  Workout at home: Invest in home gym equipment, such as hand weights, a swiss ball or a medicine ball and create a circuit workout in your living room to do in the comfort (and warmth) of your own home. Try a Tabata interval workout (there are lots online). Tabata is four minute high-intensity training, alternating between 20 seconds of max training followed by a 10-second rest for a total of eight rounds. These workouts are fast-paced, fun, free and burn up heaps of calories.
  5. Make it a social event: Find a friend to workout with and keep you motivated or, better yet, join a running group, local indoor netball, volleyball or soccer team.  The Crosbie Crew is a great Melbourne based running group that train four times a week.
  6. Do some incidental exercise: Walk to the shops, get off the train a few stops early, take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator – do whatever you can to incorporate incidental exercise into your daily routine.

And remember, be safe, be seen: If you’re exercising outdoors when the weather is wet and dark, be sure to stay safe by wearing bright colours, sticking to well-lit footpaths and roads, wearing reflective clothing and, where possible, exercise with a friend.

What’s your tip for staying motivated to exercise during the winter months?

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