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Tips for Staying Active during Winter

With winter well and truly upon us, it can be easy to let staying fit fall by the wayside. When it’s cold outside and you’re snuggled up on the couch in front of the fire, going for a walk or run or even making that short journey to the gym is probably the last thing you want to do! It’s important to keep the body in shape during winter months though – even light physical activity boosts the immune system and helps you stay in tip-top condition. Here are some tips for staying active during the cold winter months.

1. Adjust your routine

The changing season doesn’t mean you can’t still continue your routine. You’ll just have to make some adjustments. Rearrange your exercise times to make the most of the light, e.g. go for a lunchtime run, instead of in the evening if you’re nervous about running in the dark. Also, have a backup exercise you can do indoors for days when it’s raining or particularly chilly, such as jumping jacks, squatting, sit-ups or push-ups.

2. Layer up!

Exercising in winter involves having the right gear. Put on layers and invest in thermal gear to ensure you’re warm enough, and remove them one by one as you heat up. Look out for cosy, fleece-lined or quilted clothes, as they’ll stop you from losing heat. Also, wear a top layer and shoes that are wind and water-resistant to stop yourself getting cold. Don’t forget a hat, gloves and scarf too – they’ll protect your face, head, neck and hands from the chill.

3. Stay fit at home

It’s pretty easy to set up a small workout space or home gym in your house. Take advantage of the environment available to you; use your stairs for walking and stepping, dedicate a room or the garage for exercise purposes and even recreate the feeling of a gym with mirrors, floor mats and music. YouTube tutorials are a great resource, or if you want to commit further, investing in some simple equipment such as weights and a low-budget exercise bike or treadmill makes it really easy to stay active at home.

4. Find alternative activities

Although some of your favourite summer activities may be off the table, it doesn’t mean you can’t do enjoyable things to stay fit. Partaking in winter-friendly sports like ice-skating or indoor soccer can still be fun and keep you active. You can also explore areas outside of sport, like dance or trampoline classes.

5. Don’t forget to stay hydrated

Just because it’s chilly out and you might not feel as thirsty doesn’t mean you can’t become dehydrated. Keep a bottle of water to hand while you’re exercising, and sip regularly.

6. Eat well

Aim to supplement your routine with healthy, hearty meals. Soups, casseroles and stews are not only delicious and nutritious, they’ll also warm you up after being outside in the chilly air!