As the days get colder, don't just dismiss outdoor exercise - winter-proof your workout!
Wednesday 26 September 2012
As the weather starts to get colder, it may become increasingly difficult to drag yourself out of the house to exercise.
We know only too well how easy it is to replace outdoor exercise with a cup of tea on the sofa when it's cold and dark outside.
But, don't lose faith - here are our top tips on how to keep yourself motivated throughout the colder seasons. Don't let your central heating get the better of you!
Since winter wardrobes are mostly comprised of layers, thick jumpers and heavy coats, it's a lot easier to brush our body goals under the rug – no one particularly cares about their bikini body when it’s snowing outside!
With this attitude, we tend to gloss over weight gain or muscle loss, thanks to the wonders of baggy jumpers and opaque tights do for our figures.
This makes sense – there’s not much point in maintaining a body that no one will see! But letting your healthy habits fade away means you’ll only have to work harder in spring and summer, when people are keen to flaunt their bodies – not to mention you might feel less healthy.
Try mixing up your wardrobe a bit – try a tight top or body-con dress with tights as a wardrobe option, so you can continue to remind yourself why you work out!
Stay at home
If it’s bucketing down with rain or is freezing cold, sometimes there is a legitimate reason not to go for a run around the park.
But if you’re keen to keep up your fitness levels, then there are many things you can do around the house to stay in shape.
Winter is a great time to try out workout DVDs, as they can be done whatever the weather. Shop around on sites like Play.com and Amazon.co.uk to check out user reveals.
If all else fails, use your initiative! Try jogging on the spot, do a few sets of sit-ups or indulge in a little yoga in front of the TV.
Get skincare savvy
While you might want to keep your body toned over the party season, you certainly don’t want to end up with sore, dry skin as the result of your good intentions!
Exercising outdoors is tricky – as your skin gets moist through sweating, it’s also frozen thanks to the cold air hitting it.
As a result, you can end up with blotchy-looking cheeks, or with patches of dry skin as a reaction to the wind.
Try a little Vaseline on your lips – this is more about keeping the cold out rather than moisturizing.
For your nose and cheeks, classic creams such as Nivea and aqueous cream are brilliant as a barrier to stop your skin getting dry.
If you’ve got sensitive skin, try something more natural that’s oil- rather than chemical-based. Brands such as Natural Elements and Origins are great options as they comprise mostly organic ingredients, which can cause less irritation to the skin.
Wrap up warm – but don’t overdress
If you’re a more outdoorsy type who walks to work or likes a jog in the evening, you can still work out comfortably with the right clothes.
While it may seem logical to put on a T-shirt, sweatshirt and hoodie on if it’s cold outside, it can be more sensible to just wear a couple of thin layers – as long as you’re covered, you’ll still be protected from the elements, but will be comfortable once you're warmed up.
Keeping things tight can also be great as they mean you don't have to compromise your workout with bulky layers, or carry them around as you jog.
Typical scarf fabrics like wool and acrylic are a nightmare – once you start sweating, you’re doomed to either be itching with the scarf on or freezing with it off!
While they're not as fashionable, synthetic fabrics are often used in workout gear as they cling to the skin to stop heat escaping, but allow sweat to run off the body easily.
Here are our favourite things to stop your fitness getting frosty:
Ear muffs: ever get painfully cold ears after a jog or walk in winter? Take the edge off a little with some fluffy ear muffs - black ones are the most subtle if you're worried about looking like a five-year-old!
Fleece: Synthetic fabrics might not stop you from sweating, but they’ll be a lot more pleasant against your skin once you do start warming up. They also let in a little less rain or snow than cotton, so you’ll be able to stay outside for longer. Try scarves and hoodies in this fabric to safeguard against itchiness!
Cotton gloves: again, these can be great for stopping your hands from freezing, but won’t be as itchy as woolly gloves.
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If you’re interested, head over to www.closerdiets.com now.