I have just come in from my run. My eyes are streaming, my fingers are close to becoming separate from my hands, and I am pretty sure my lungs have turned to ice, since no matter how much I try, I cannot seem to get enough oxygen back into my body. I am not sure how long I can continue doing this. It is winter — that is a good enough excuse not to exercise right?
Wrong! The cold should never be an excuse to forgo all exercise. There are plenty of ways you can maintain your fitness regime despite the sub-zero temperatures blasting your face every time you open the door. Have a look at my top tips, or even simply continue as you are: a slight freshness in the air never hurt anyone.
1. Do as much as you can indoors
A gym membership at this time of the year can often be a lifesaver. Even without one, strength, muscle and stretching exercises can all be done indoors. Try ‘warming-up’ whilst you are still in the warm, this way your muscles will not get as much of a shock when you go outside.
2. Switch up your routine
Even if your regime is more cardio-based, why not try and switch it up over the colder months? Try new sports that can be done inside — from following YouTube videos to trying out a dance or Kung-Fu class. In fact, if you want to take keeping warm to this extreme, why not try out a Bikram Yoga session in the Smithfield Building, Northern Quarter? At £16 a session, or just £30 for a month’s pass, these 90 minutes yoga classes are done in 40C heat — a brilliant way to melt the icicles off of the end of your nose.
3. Embrace the cold
If you do decide that your exercise regime simply would not be the same if you do not go outside, layers would be the best way to fight against the cold. The parts of your body from which you lose the most heat are your ears, fingers and toes. So invest in a decent headband and pair of gloves (and some socks I guess if you are prone to exercising outdoors in bare feet?!) Often the chill air encourages us to work harder anyway, anything to gain a bit of warmth!
If all else fails, simply remember your motivation. Think how much more you are doing than all those who saw the winter as synonymous with hibernation and hot chocolate. Do not forget — summer bodies are kick-started in the winter.
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