Baby, it may be cold outside but that is absolutely no excuse not to exercise.
We know how hard it is in the winter. Freezing and frosty mornings aren’t particularly conducive to getting out of your warm bed. However, there are proven benefits to exercising that are hard to ignore. These benefits exist year round, mind you. It’s just that often we all need that extra little boost when the chill grey skies can have us flagging. Learn our six hot tips to get you motivated to challenge the wind and rain this winter.
1. Warm up First
Take an extra amount of time to warm up. Lack of a proper warm up is the easiest way you can injure yourself. It can be tempting to do a short warm up and then go hard just to get warmer quicker. But this is when aches, sprains, and pulled muscles can occur.
It can be helpful to take a warm shower before you head outside. This will help prepare your body (and mind) for the shock of the cold. Then ensure that you start a gentle warm up jog, before moving into a series of stretches and then off you go. This way you can run your hardest or hit the gym, with less chance of injury. Additionally, try looking out for products that contain Arnica Montana, as it is a natural ingredient that may help relieve your aches and strains.
2. Get Outside
There is nothing quite like an invigorating morning run. With the frost and mist creeping around, it is stunning. Usually, parks and trails are deserted except for the hard core amongst us. It can be an excellent time to readjust the senses and meditate on the day ahead of you.
It’s also important that we get Vitamin D. Yes, even an Australian winter can see us lacking in this vital vitamin. It can aid everything from sleep, stress management, healthy bones and weight management. So, do your best to get outside, as our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. What better way to do it than as it rises on a misty morning? Winter can also exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Exposure to the sun can help ease these conditions, but the cold and dry air may also make them worse. Try using a natural eczema treatment that will be gentle on your sensitised skin.
3. Stay Inside
If cold really is anathema to you, then take this opportunity to stay indoors and work on those guns. By this we mean it’s time to get back into resistance training. You won’t necessarily end up with the muscles of a bodybuilder. However, resistance training is an important component for building strong, healthy bones. It helps maintain muscle and bone density later in life, too. It is also worth considering yoga or workout DVDs. These are exercises that you can do in your own time from the comfort of your home. Check out our home-grown Adelaide girl Kayla Itsines for more home workout inspiration.
4. Team Games
Does the idea of slogging out into the cold, leave you cold? Can't motivate yourself to wake up in the dark to get to your pre-work gym class? Maybe it’s time to consider a team sport. These can be fun, motivating and provide a much needed social respite. A great combination of health and well-being. A lot of people tend to hibernate or enter social cocoons when the wind, rain and hail is lashing outside. Yet winter is traditionally associated with team sports like hockey, football and netball. Get a group of friends together and you will be surprised how much you egg each other on. It is friendship, laughter, inspiration and fitness all at once. The ultimate mental and physical fitness combination.
5. Prepare Your Defences
This is the season for upping your ante on boosting your immune system. This means defending yourself against cold and flu bugs. This will help to keep your body in ship-shape for your exercise routine. Natural alternatives are always an attractive option when considering a holistic approach. Start from the top and work your way down. Sinus issues can easily flare up in the cold. So use a natural homoeopathic treatment like our Sinus Oral Spray. This includes ingredients such as Silica and Purple Pasque Flower that are traditionally used in homoeopathic medicine to help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis and sinus pain. Don’t forget to hydrate either, you need to drink as much in winter as you do in summer. Also consider echinacea, vitamin C and garlic supplements. There have been studies that suggest these may aid in the prevention of illnesses like colds and flu. If you feel the dreaded lurgy coming on, consider trying out some over the counter cold & flu remedies. The number one defence? Ensure that you are eating a balanced and nutritious diet. This will be your best natural aid in preventing illness and maintaining your winter health.
This is the most important step of all. Stretch properly and cool down, just as you did at the beginning. This will help prevent lactic acid from building up and causing your pain later. If you do get soreness, use a natural medicine alternative to treat it. Keep chapped lips from frosty runs at bay with our paw paw balm for your lips and our paw paw ointment for hands and elbows. Our formula is rich in Paw Paw with the added nourishment of Shea Butter, Honey, Vitamin E and Grapeseed Oil.
And remember to rest afterwards, your body needs to heal and grow from your workout. That’s what a recovery period is all about.
So don’t make like the proverbial bear and hibernate this winter. Instead, get outside and enjoy the invigorating effects and spoils of the season. As a bonus, cold weather burns more fat! So do yourself a favour. Your health, body and mind will thank you for it.
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