There’s been a noticeable change in the weather and the urge to hibernate might be tempting you to miss your exercise classes and stay inside instead. But stopping exercise as we face the colder months is the last thing we should be doing. In fact, exercising now while it’s still mild enough to get outside is a great way to prepare for the colder months and means you are more likely to keep up with exercise through winter.
Exercise to Boost Circulation
If you have poor circulation, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the affected arteries is reduced. If you suffer from any symptoms of poor circulation such as chest pains or pain in your legs when walking you should talk to your doctor to discuss appropriate treatment.
Regular exercise is great for circulation and heart health - it increases blood flow and gets the heart pumping blood around your body faster and flushes out your arteries.
Exercise to Boost your Immune System
As we approach cold and flu season your immune system will welcome a helping hand to help fight off the bugs and viruses. Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system and indeed studies found that the response from your immune system is immediate after exercising for 45 minutes. The key here is to make sure you continue to exercise regularly.
Take your Workout Outside
The cooler temperatures mean you need to warm up well before you start and wear layers that can easily be removed. Try walking, running or cycling for some fresh air and a chance to enjoy your surroundings. If you like meeting up with friends and you’re already quite active then joining a bootcamp class could be just what you need to help keep you motivated through the winter months ahead.
If you find it difficult to get out, perhaps due to limited mobility, then there are some great ways to stay active inside your own home. Video tutorials are a great way to get your daily exercise without leaving the house.
Set Yourself a Challenge
A great way to help ensure you don’t give up after the first hurdle is to set yourself a challenge or target that will see you through the winter. There are often lots of events you can sign up to from walking challenges to swimathons and once you’ve committed to it you are much less likely to give in. You could ask a friend to join you in a challenge- maybe pledge to attend a regular weekly class together. If you have someone to make you accountable you will be more likely to stick to it.
Do Something you will Enjoy
There’s no point in promising to run every day if you hate running. Doing exercise you dislike will just make you resent all exercise and will make you more likely to give up. So find an activity you enjoy and you will get all the feel-good hormones as well as the improved fitness.
So, get ready for winter and get started with your exercise routine now.
What are your top tips for staying healthy and active over winter? Let us know in the comments.
Contact Amanda for more information on classes, one-to-one training sessions and nutrition advice.
If you’ve been inactive following surgery or been recovering from an illness you might feel apprehensive about starting to exercise again. It’s important to listen to your doctor and make sure you are fully recovered but once you’ve had the all clear from your healthcare practitioner it’s time to start thinking about building up your fitness again.
Returning to normal physical activities after a long period of inactivity is really important for your recovery- your muscles will naturally be weaker, and you will feel much less fit than before so you need to build your strength and fitness back.
Listen to your body
Following illness or surgery it’s important to listen to your body. You might be eager to get back to your normal activities but even after your doctor has given you the all clear you still need to remember to rest and recover. Start off slowly - walking is a great way to start getting fit again and help your body heal. Over time you can gradually increase the intensity and time spent exercising. If you enjoy walking you could join a group (check out Ramblers for local walking groups) to keep you motivated.
Make Positive Changes
Whether you have had a joint replacement, heart attack/heart surgery, illness such as Covid or other respiratory illness, you should think about what changes you can make to your lifestyle to help aid recovery and support your body.
As you get fitter and stronger you can start to add to your exercise routine- strength training is important to help build muscle and improve cardiovascular health. If you want to protect your body and help prevent further injury then you should add strength training to your routine alongside cardio training such as walking, running, swimming or cycling. Joining a fitness class is a great idea to help keep you accountable with the added bonus of being lots of fun and a great way to meet new friends. After being stuck inside following illness or surgery it’s common to feel isolated so joining a class is a great way to improve mental health too. Move It or Lose It is a great class for people who have mobility issues and can be carried out seated if necessary.
Personal Coaching and One-One Sessions
If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of joining a class but you still need the motivation and help you might like to try one-to-one sessions with a personal trainer. Your personal trainer will be able to tailor the session to your abilities and needs making it a great option if you are recovering from surgery or illness. Just make sure you have the all clear from your healthcare professional and be sure to tell your personal trainer what you are recovering from, how you are feeling - physically and mentally and what your fitness goals are.
If you have been given the all clear by your doctor and are looking to get back into exercise following surgery or illness but you're unsure where to start, contact Amanda.
It’s starting to warm up, the days are getting longer- Spring is finally here! The onset of spring often fills us with a bit of hope and motivation and it’s a great time to change up your exercise regime. You can take advantage of milder weather and take your exercise routine outside and get all the benefits of what that has to offer. Fresh air and sunshine for an added boost of vitamin D combined with a bit of cardio or strength training can really lift your mood and give you an extra dose of endorphins. But, let's face it, British weather is changeable so if the weather is bad, don’t be put off, move your activity indoors!
Exercise for Well-Being
The benefits of regular exercise, whether a daily brisk walk or more structured regime, are vast. Research shows how just 10 minutes of brisk activity boosts mental alertness, mood and energy levels.
The end of dark mornings and the onset of longer days gives us more opportunity to spend time doing physical activities. If you work during the day , the extra daylight in the morning or evening means you have a bit more time to get active. A quick walk before breakfast or a workout before your evening meal will do you the world of good, physically and mentally. As the weather improves one of the easiest ways to increase your amount of physical activity is walking. Try adding a daily walk to your normal routine, whether that’s walking to work, the local shop or something more substantial like meeting up with your local rambling group.
Join a Class
If you’re stuck in a bit of a rut and need a bit of motivation you could try joining a class. There are lots of options and most will be tailored to your individual fitness level/ability. Being part of a group activity is fantastic for accountability and meeting new people. It also pushes you to try harder than you might if you are just plodding along on your own.
Classes can often be held outside when the weather permits, especially classes such as Bootcamp which involve a broad range of exercises.
Use it or Lose it!
This saying couldn’t be more true, if you want to live an active and full life you need to keep moving. Loss of muscle tone, flexibility and cardio health can have serious implications in later life so it’s important to stay active. Don’t be put off if you are less mobile or find exercise difficult, there are classes specifically aimed at less mobile individuals , such as Move it Or Lose It. These classes are made up of exercises that can be carried out seated or standing and aim to help with daily activities such as climbing the stairs.
Enjoy the longer days and (hopefully) milder weather and get active!
What exercises do you like to do when the weather warms up?