How to Stay Active in the Winter

Winter seems like the perfect time of the year to hibernate. As the days get colder, shorter and grayer, there’s nothing more enticing than staying under the covers all day. However, you should try to resist the temptation to hibernate in winter as much as you can because winter is actually the perfect time to be active. If you’re not convinced, read on to find out the  benefits of staying active in winter.

Benefits of staying active in winter

1. You burn more fat: research shows that colder temperatures can convert white fat in the body into brown fat, fat that actually burns calories. 

2. The weather is ideal for exercise: As temperatures get cooler, you expend less energy while exercising. That also means you’re less likely to be drenched in sweat just a few minutes into your workout, making winter workouts much more pleasant.

 

Maintaining physical and mental health

Exercising in the winter is generally recommended for people who experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) along with professional help. This is because the endorphins released as a result of exercise can elevate your mood.
 

How to stay motivated to workout in the winter

Great, now you know the importance of staying active in the winter. But you still can’t find the motivation to exercise. Read on for tips on how to stay motivated to work out in the winter.

1. Find a workout buddy

    There’s a good reason why having a workout buddy is a tip almost every fitness trainer recommends. Having a workout buddy will encourage you not to bail on your partner and skip workouts. Moreover, having someone to exercise with makes staying active even more fun.

    2. Try new sports, take advantage of winter sports

    Sometimes, we experience a drop in our motivation levels because we might just be bored. By adding something new into your workout sessions, you can motivate yourself to continue staying active in the winter. Try taking advantage of winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, for instance. Or what about snow kayaking or figure skating?

    3. Plan ahead but also allow for flexibility

    By scheduling in your workouts, you’re more likely to stay motivated and stick to a routine. But avoid beating yourself up after missing a workout or two- this can actually end up being demotivating. Instead, focus on trying not to miss the next workout.

     

    How to workout in the winter

    If you’re planning on exercising outside this winter, read on for some working out in the winter tips. 

    1. Dress warm

    Remember to layer up before you go outside to exercise. You can take off layers as your body temperature increases.

    Avoid wearing active wear made out of cotton, as cotton can soak up and hold in moisture. This can make you feel colder. Instead, opt for active wear made out of synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon as these materials are designed to dry quicker.

     

    2. Drink water

    In the winter, you might not feel as thirsty as you would feel in the summer. However, it’s important to remember that you are still losing fluids (by sweating, for example) that you need to replace by drinking water.

    3. Warm up before workouts

    In the winter, tight muscles are at a greater risk of injuries and strains. Therefore, warming up before workouts is very important to reduce the risk of injury.

     

    How to work out in the winter at home/without a gym

     If you cannot go outside this winter or if you prefer to stay indoors, here are some bodyweight exercises you can try at home: 

    1. Squats

    Squats are a great exercise to include in your leg workouts as it strengthens your lower body muscles as well as your core muscles.

    To do a basic squat, you should stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your chest up, engaging your core. Then squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, making sure not to bring your knees beyond your toes. Hold this squat position for a moment and then push back to the initial standing position.

    Once you have mastered the basic squat, you can try different squat variations like the pistol squat, curtsey squat or the Bulgarian split squat.

     

    2. Burpees

     The burpee is a full-body exercise that increases strength, promotes cardio health, and effectively burns calories.

    To do a burpee, start in a squat position with your hands on the ground just in front of you. Then kick your feet back behind you so that you are in a push-up position. Bring your feet back to the original squat position. Then jump up as high as you can to a standing position.

    If you want to challenge yourself further, you can modify the classic burpee by adding a push-up or including dumbbells if you have them at home.

     

    3. Planks

    On top of increasing core strength, planks can improve stability and posture. It’s a very simple exercise to do but it can be challenging to hold the plank position for longer periods of time.

    In order to avoid boredom and maintain motivation, you can try different variations of the plank like the side plank crunch, arm or leg lift plank, or the plank jack. 

    Recovery after workouts

    To experience the benefits of working out in the winter without feeling terrible after, it is important to cool down after workouts. You can do this by doing cool down stretches right after your workout. Or you can use active compression wraps, like SPRYNG, for faster recovery after workouts. SPRYNG can speed up muscle recovery by increasing blood circulation in the legs. You can learn more about SPRYNG here

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