Chilly mornings and long nights can make it hard to stay motivated to keep active over winter.  Even the most dedicated gym junkie can find it difficult to get off the cosy couch and keep moving!  Keeping that exercise going through winter is super important to keep your health and wellness goals on track and keeping away those winter blues.  Here are a few simple tips to winter proof your work out and get you off the couch.

Find a workout buddy

When exercising soIo, it can be easy to talk yourself out of an exercise session and opt for rugging up with Netflix instead with the all too familiar promise of “I’ll exercise tomorrow instead”.  But if you have a workout buddy by your side, you won’t just be letting yourself down if you bail on your exercise session!  Exercising with a friend is always easier, keeping each other motivated and accountable – and a good excuse to socialise while getting your blood pumping!

Get outdoors – make the most of the winter sun!

Sunshine and daylight are so important for our metal health and that extra energy boost!  When you see a sunny winters day on the weather forecast, make a plan to get out there and enjoy!  Whether it be a run on the beach, an outdoor boxing class or a walk in your lunch break – there’s nothing better than soaking up some Vitamin D and getting the heart racing.  Daily doses of sunshine can also help to combat symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. – link to https://www.beyondblue.org.au/personal-best/pillar/in-focus/feeling-sad-seasonal-affective-disorder

Of course, the sun is not always out and shining during winter – but the crisp winter air has advantages too.  Studies have shown that exercising in the great outdoors during winter requires the body to work harder to regulate its core temperature, meaning you’ll burn more calories, making up for all the winter comfort eating!  Exercising outdoors in winter can also boost your mood, as the body needs to work harder to stay warm, producing more endorphins which will leave you with a sense of happiness following a work out.

Don’t forget to warm up 

Whatever your favourite workout is, warming up before exercise is extra important over winter.  Making sure you’re properly warmed up will help prevent any painful muscle strains, twists or tears that you are more susceptible to in the winter months.  Choose a warm up that is dynamic and gradually increases in speed and intensity.  For example, if you’re heading out for a run, start with a walk, then a light jog and incorporate some squats and lunges to warm up those leg muscles. 

Warming up not only helps prevent injuries, but also helps activate your muscles so you can get the most of your exercise session. 

Make sure you warm up in a heated environment to get the blood properly flowing to your muscles!

Stay hydrated

Don’t be fooled, your body will still sweat in winter!  It will just evaporate more quickly in the chilly air, giving the perception that you are losing less water.  Therefore it is really important to keep that water bottle with you and keep hydrated before, during and after a workout to maintain peak performance and avoid dehydration. Even mild dehydration can cause headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and changes to your mood. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to reach for the water bottle!

Make sure you’re looking after your skin too by using a good moisturiser, as the cold air and heating in gyms can cause dehydration.

Don’t hit snooze

It’s all too tempting to hit the snooze button when we’re curled up in a nice warm bed!  But resist the urge, just take the plunge and jump up, get dressed and get moving!  The hardest part is making the decision to sweat it out and get out the door.  So don’t over think it, seize the day and jump out of bed.  Do yourself a favour and pick a song for your alarm that gets your heart beating fast and ready to move that body.  You will thank yourself later!

 Invest in some new training gear

Treating yourself and buying new exercise clothes and accessories is a great motivator to get up and about because you’ll be looking good and itching to put your new purchases into practice.  Make sure you buy some winter appropriate clothing – a few extra layers for those chilly mornings and nights! 

A new water bottle and gym towel will also be your best friends - nothing is better than starting a new season with fresh new accessories!  Check out the Aurora Athletica antibacterial sweat towels for a truly stylish addition to your winter workout accessories.

Get yourself a furry friend

What better excuse to add an addition to the family, a cute and cuddly pup to get you motivated to exercise this winter.  The responsibility of taking your dog for a walk every day is a huge motivator to get out the house and exercise daily.  Depending on the type of exercise you like to do, there are many different breeds of dogs to suit your lifestyle.  Some are more suited to running, while others prefer a short walk or run on the beach, so make sure you get a pup that enjoys the same sort of exercise as you do.  Dogs are also great for improving our mental health which will help with motivation to get exercising!

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