Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Maintaining Your Fitness this Winter

Maintaining Your Fitness this Winter

As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, it is common for our fitness regimes to take a hit. When returning home from the office in the dark and cold, tying up your laces and heading out on a run is likely at the bottom of your list of ways to spend your evening. However, maintaining your fitness during the winter months is of utmost importance to keep you fit and well – but don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be as tricky as it sounds.

During the colder months, we are more likely to come down with the common cold, flu and other illness. However, research shows that exercise can support our immune system and help to prevent us from getting under the weather1. Better yet, exercise makes our gut bugs happy which, in turn, can reduce inflammation and further support our immune function2.

In the UK, it is recommended that adults (aged 19-64) should aim to complete 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week3. Read on to discover our top tips on how you can easily fit this into your weekly schedule.


Maintaining Your Fitness this Winter

5 Top Tips for Maintaining Fitness this Winter

  1. Move your workout indoors (even from the comfort of your own home!)

To avoid being outside on the dark and cold nights, why not do your exercise indoors? For example, you could sign up to a gym in your area, attend exercise classes at a leisure centre, or get your laps in at the local swimming pool. Not only are these warmer alternatives to outdoor exercise, but also a great way to try something new and make friends as you do so! If you are someone who would rather exercise within your own four walls, there are now many home workouts available for you to try. You could follow a YouTube video suited to your fitness level, try yoga, create a circuit in your living room (e.g., squats by the sofa, sit-ups by the fireplace, and shoulder presses by the television), or even just have a dance party – you’ll be surprised by the sweat you get on during these fun activities.

  1. Make a plan (and stick to it!)

Setting yourself goals and creating a schedule is a great way to stay motivated to exercise in the winter months. Make a realistic plan of when you’re going to exercise each week. For example, if you have a job which allows you to work from home, you may wish to plan your exercise on these days where you can go for a jog on your lunch break or hit the gym in the hours you would otherwise be completing your commute. Planning your exercise in a realistic and manageable manner is more likely to make you stick to it.

  1. Involve your loved ones

Further to the previous tip, exercising with loved ones, and even making a challenge out of it, is another great way to stay motivated. You could start a ‘step’ competition with your work colleagues, compete against your partner in a running challenge, or even just set a goal to get out on family walks each week. Making exercise a social activity can also make it feel like a more manageable task. Where you might be meeting a friend for a coffee on a Sunday, why not attend a fitness class together beforehand? That way, you’re getting your exercise in and still spending time with your loved ones!

  1. Layer up

If you are someone who loves to exercise outdoors, there’s nothing stopping you from doing that all year long – just make sure to layer up! Invest in some high-quality winter training gear to stay warm during your favourite activities.

  1. Focus on Fuel

In addition to maintaining your exercise regime, it is important to consume a sufficient diet – especially one that your gut will love! One that your gut bugs will love is a high fibre diet which includes a variety of plants including different fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. This can help support your gut health, and in turn, your immune system,  throughout the chillier months. Click here for recipes which boost your fibre intake this winter!

Maintaining your fitness during winter doesn’t need to be as daunting as it may sound. By incorporating these Love Your Gut top tips into your weekly routine, you can strive toward a healthy, happy winter!

References

  1. Da Silveira et al., 2021. Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature. Clinical and experimental medicine21(1), pp.15-28.

  1. Monda, V., Villano, I., Messina, A., Valenzano, A., Esposito, T., Moscatelli, F., Viggiano, A., Cibelli, G., Chieffi, S., Monda, M. and Messina, G., 2017. Exercise modifies the gut microbiota with positive health effects. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity2017.

  1. Department of Health and Social Care (2019) UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/physical-activity-guidelines-uk-chief-medical-officers-report (Accessed: November 2023).

The post Maintaining Your Fitness this Winter appeared first on Love Your Gut.

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By: Catherine Hogan
Title: Maintaining Your Fitness this Winter
Sourced From: loveyourgut.com/all-entries/maintaining-your-fitness-this-winter/
Published Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2023 09:37:07 +0000

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