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Why you should keep up your exercise regime in the winter

It’s that time of year again: dark in the mornings, dark in the evenings, cold and miserable.

The temptation to stay indoors in the warm – and with it to snack on comfort foods – is rising, and then, there’s the “C” word, when we are all tempted to overindulge even more.

But why undo all the good that your exercise regime has brought you when with a bit of thought and help, you can make adjustments that will help you to carry on through the winter so you won’t have to face stepping up the effort to get back in shape for the summer?

Actually, there are some positive benefits to keeping up with the exercise in the winter.

Firstly, it ensures you get the Vitamin D your body needs all year round, keeping your bones and your immune system strong so you won’t suffer from so many winter colds and flu.

You can save both on fuel bills and an expanding waistline. The exercise will raise your body temperature, and it need not be a chore to exercise outdoors if you wear layers you can trap the heat between them and perhaps remove one as you get warmer.

Exercise in cold weather will also get your heart working harder and the blood circulating, keeping your cardio-vascular system fit and healthy and reducing the risks of cardiac diseases.

It is also good for the brain. Research has shown that regular exercise can improve your sense of well being and you know what its like when there is not enough daylight, sad , moody, grumpy and low.

If rain or ice make outdoor running perilous, or you are nervous about running alone after dark, you can also modify your exercise regime to include some indoor exercise, and maybe learn something new, such as yoga, pilates, swimming, tai chi and my favorite which is strength training.

How do you stay motivated to exercise in winter?

Make a plan and stick with it, perhaps giving yourself goals to reach such as getting fitter, leaner or stronger.  You could also join a class or boot camp – you’ll have company and the motivation not to waste the money you’ve paid out for a block of exercise sessions.

Team up with an exercise buddy – you’ll help each other to stay motivated. Or get yourself a fitness coach who will keep you going.

Another good trick is to take a photograph of yourself at the start of winter.  If it shows a fit and healthy you, you’re more likely to maintain your regime.  If it shows the opposite, it will help you keep up the exercise to make a difference.

If you carry on with your exercise regime throughout the winter you won’t have to face the depressing prospect of having to start all over again as the days get warmer and the layers get removed to reveal the consequences of winter hibernation!

So keep up the good work and if you have not started yet then why not make those small changes now leading to bigger results.

Andy

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