December 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm
Does December make you want to hibernate?
When winter arrives – along with its long nights and cold temperatures – it’s natural for many of us to feel that little bit less motivated in terms of exercise and healthy eating. But don’t despair! There are lots of inspiring ideas online for winter activities to help keep your energy and motivation levels topped up during these colder months. And there’s an added benefit, too: exercising in winter can even help to boost the immune system!
According to fitness guru Greg Whyte, keeping up a good rate of exercise during the winter is down to preparation and planning – and fitting in exercise whenever possible: Greg advises that ‘you can accumulate minutes of exercise over the day’ and get the same sort of result as going to the gym ‘for a 45 minute session’. In order to fuel ourselves for the winter, Greg believes it’s best to stick broadly to the type of things we eat the rest of the year: ‘There’s no need to go stodgy’. For a delicious and warming cold weather meal, look no further than our own slow-roasted winter vegetables recipe.
And whether you’re out there shovelling snow or taking the kids ice skating, all that activity adds up! Adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
Of course, if the weather’s not great – and it seldom is this time of year – it’s good to have a range of exercises you can use to stay active even if you’re snowed in or just don’t want to brave the cold. There are actually quite a lot of exercises you can do at home that don’t call for expensive equipment – why not have a look at our videos by fitness expert Lucy Wyndham-Read, who has selected a range of indoor exercises for people of most fitness levels. These exercises can be performed at home or in the office, and can help add to your week’s activity. Some other great news is that housework jobs, such as vacuuming, can count towards your overall amount of moderate activity – see our Exercise for Health factsheet for more.
What things will you be doing to stay active this winter? Will you be at home with the Wii Fit, or have you got plans to venture out and try something new like salsa dancing or tai chi classes? Either way, there’s a great choice of ways to stay active and have fun between now and the spring.