Sunday, 2 November 2014

Staying Active in the Winter: AKA no WinterFAIL for you, my friend.

If you’re reading this in the UK, I’m sure that you are highly aware of the seasonal change thanks to the clocks going back last week (If not, consider this an education as to why you kept being so early for everything). Yes, you gained a new hour in bed in the morning but that excitement may have wore off that first Monday evening as you travelled back from work in the dark. You know, just the same darkness you left your home in hours earlier. Our days are now shorter and it’s getting colder, leaving me to conclude that mother nature doesn’t give a crap about your or my summer fitness routine. It's all change here. 
Embracing the crap out of Winter (Thermals not visible)

So the question is: how in the hell are we supposed to keep up with this healthy living, active thing when our couches and beds have now morphed into alluring cocoons ready to pad our butts right through into spring? After a bit of research, talking to myself in the car and chatting with my mates, I give you my top ways to keep active when it’s so cold outside, your nipples might actually fall off...

Think differently: Yes, it’s cold, dark and probably raining. We can either get really pissed off about it and resign ourselves to couch duty until the clocks change back, or use it to motivate us to try something new. The cold, hard fact here is that exercise is good for our mental health and wellbeing. You’ve heard the reports, you’ve felt the benefits yourself. You know, even if it’s really deep down, it’s not a load of bollocks. So with this in our heads, we know that continuing with keeping active will help us to have a happier, more positive outlook regardless of the weather that lies outside our door. Revisit your goals and inspiration so you can embrace the new season with the same kind of tenacity that you found over the summer. 

Spend some quality time with your TV: Running is my thing. Running in the dark by myself, however, isn’t. Winter is a great time to pull out those dusty fitness DVDs or turn to the numerous YouTube fitness gurus. There’s a massive variety: Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, ballet, dance- you name it, it’s available whenever the time is best for you. It depends on how much room you have, your lifestyle and how many kids will be watching you trying to stand on your head at the time. And the added bonus of having someone yell at you to move from your TV is that you can chose to partake at a time that suits you.  

Become a Gym Bunny: If you’re really against the feeling of an ice block being pressed against your face as you go outside for your endorphin dose. Or you don’t have enough room in your humble abode to end your day to carry out a billions star jumps, then winter is the perfect time to nose about your local gym. Yes, I’m not denying that they can initially be scary places. But I will say to you what my Super Gym Bunny friend said to me: check your ego. The majority of people are there for themselves and are not paying attention to how long you’ve been on the running machine or how many reps you’ve done. Go there for you; they are. Stop looking for excuses and instead say ‘yes’ to new experiences, new social connections and a new shape of ass for the spring. 

Get over it and get outside: It’s really easy to get stuck indoors in the darker months. Just like it’s easy to forget what you look like without clothes on when you’re spending most cold nights in a onesie (No shame). You go from home to car to work to car to home again quickly forgetting what the outside world actually looks like. We don’t want this, so we need to change up our routines. Run on weekends if you can’t get home for the light. Play a winter sport if you think you look good in puffy pants. And if your looking for something that’s less high impact, have you thought about walking outdoors? It’s free, you don’t need any equipment and it’s available to almost everyone. Set yourself a goal to get outside every day and use that time to leave your phone at home, take stock of the subtle seasonal changes around you and be in the moment. Even better if you have a willing partner or children to come with you. Use that time to be together without iPhones, TVs or the to do list. Make it your time to connect and improve yours and your families wellbeing. Getting matching wellies is optional but think of the instagram possibilities! 

Do it to warm up: Let us not forget that increasing your heart rate will warm you up. Those who know me well are more than aware of my penny saving antics in my day to day life. A good friend of mine was in hysterics when I told her last year that I refused to put my heating on before December (A challenge that I failed in). Yes, when I got home sometimes I felt like staying outside was the more temperate option, but some of the positives of being such a cheapo was that being cold motivated me to move my body. Although I don’t recommend that you lot challenge yourself like I did with my heating, I do want to point out that on those evenings or mornings when you say to yourself “Bah heck, it’s bloody cold” remember that going out for a 20 min run, or doing a 20 minute HIIT routine will warm you up better than a hundred cuddling, fluffy, heated teddybears. 

We can do this, people. We can see this winter through and still keep active. It can be done, it’s only you who can make it happen. Let’s stick with each other through this!

x KB


steve said...

The more bootcamps or mudruns you do in winter, the less the cold affects you. Your body's metabolism fires up for the challenge!

Kiki B said...

You're a braver man than I with the mud runs and bootcamps! I salute you!

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