When the temperature drops, the urge to hibernate sets in, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Make this the time you warm up by staying in shape with your own action plan.
There are things we love about the cooler months: curling up inside while the rain drizzles down; tucking into hearty casseroles and curries; snuggling under the covers on a gloomy morning. And there are some things we don’t like about this time of the year, including the fact most of us may find we’re carrying a couple of extra kilos.
It doesn’t take a genius to see the two things are related. You may tell yourself your extra padding is a natural seasonal change, a result of your metabolism slowing as the mercury drops, but we’ve got some bad news – for most of us, it’s simply not true.
The good news is exercise not only helps you burn off the kilojoules you’ve already ingested, it makes you feel less hungry in the long term.
But, even when you know you should be exercising, it can be hard to get yourself moving. When it’s cold and dark outside, you can always find excuses to stay at home. Here are some ways around them.
When you’ve been working all day, and it’s already dark outside, it’s hard to make yourself go for that run or drag yourself to the gym. If you’ve already done your gym class or run that morning, it doesn’t matter. It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning, but once you’re up, you feel better for it. If your gym is close to work, you’ll avoid peak hour rush too. Try setting your alarm an hour earlier and put it at the far side of the room – that way you’ll have to get up to turn it off.
Buy a pedometer
Aim for 10,000 steps a day. It is a lot, but can be incorporated into your day, and a pedometer can help you keep count.
Find some friends
Team sports are a great way to have fun with friends or make some new ones. Plus, you’re less likely to skip a workout if you know other people are depending on you. Basketball, indoor netball and indoor cricket are all good options.
Exercise at home
If you really can’t bring yourself to leave your home, give yourself some fitness homework. Invest in a yoga or pilates DVD, or even do your gym workout at home. There are many exercises you can do. Try doing tricep dips on the lounge and push-ups against the wall. If your home has two steps, you can do step-ups. A trainer at your local gym will be able to help you create an at-home routine.
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