During the winter, all we really want is to stay curled up on the sofa in front of the TV with a cup of tea and the biscuit tin. Unless you’re going on a winter sun break, you don’t have to think about squeezing yourself into a bikini, and big cosy jumpers cover up all the after effects of all those Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. But it’s important to try to keep fit in the winter – because endorphins will be released into your body, you’ll feel more cheerful and able to combat the dark nights. Here are some keep-fit options for you over the next few months…
Make sure you walk as often as you can. Get off the bus a stop early and walk briskly home – if it’s chilly you’ll walk faster, which means you’ll burn more calories! If you wrap up warm, you can still go hiking in the winter. There’s not much that’s more beautiful than snowy or frosty fields and woods this time of year. Just make sure you cover up your head, throat and ears so you don’t get ill.
Take your bike out of the garage, dust it off, and cycle to work. Remember to be careful – you’re vulnerable on a bike, and cities are dangerous places to cycle because sometimes it’s hard for lorry drivers to see you. Ensure you have bicycle insurance and keep vigilant on the roads.
Take the stairs instead of the lift. If you take the tube to work, walk up and down the escalator on the left, and if there’s a lift up to your office, dash up the stairs instead. You might arrive slightly out of breath on the first day, but you’ll find it gets easier and easier every time you do it!
Yoga is a great way to stay limber in the winter. If you don’t feel like going to a class, look for a yoga video on YouTube – Yoga With Adriene is the yoga channel with the most subscribers. She posts a new yoga exercise every week, but her 30 Days Of Yoga series is a great way to get lean and strong in just thirty days.
If you’d like to do something a bit more active, a dance class is a great way to get fit. If you’re nervous about going alone, take a friend along with you. Zumba is a great mixture of dance and aerobics, but if you’re looking for a more pure dance class, you could try tap dancing or adult ballet, which will help improve your posture and any back pain you might have. If you’ve been inspired by this year’s Strictly, you could even drag your partner along to a ballroom or Latin class!
Of course, if you fancy zooming off to France, Switzerland or Italy, this is the time of year to practice winter sports. Snowboarding and skiing are becoming increasingly popular. If you’d like to have a go at it before you splash out on a big trip, you could always try out an indoor ski slope – Snozone in Milton Keynes and The Snow Centre in Hertfordshire are two particularly popular choices.
Try to enjoy winter as much as you can! It can be tricky this time of year with the early nights and dark mornings, but if you manage to get those endorphins pumping as much as you can, you’ll feel a lot better. And remember that an occasional sofa-and-biscuit day is just as good for the soul as a jog is for the body.