We all know that we should be exercising to keep healthy and we have good intentions to keep up that exercise over the year. However, when it comes to winter time, we get discouraged but there really is no need to hibernate and store away your exercise gear. You should keep yourself active throughout the winter to keep yourself in shape and also to boost your mood.
As adults, we should be aiming for 150 minutes of weekly physical activity at least. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise per day for 5 days of the week. To make this easier, think about doing something that you would really enjoy, something that can be done indoors, such as badminton, dancing, Pilates, swimming, tai chi or yoga. The possibilities are endless and you could learn something new.
If you find that you are struggling with your new regime, don’t overdo it. You can build up the amount of exercise you do slowly. Sometimes, if you break the activity up into smaller chunks, it makes it easier to do.
Even though its winter and the days are shorter and darker, don’t let the cold weather put you off. You could take a long walk with the family at the weekend, or better still, go for a family bike ride. Just make sure to wrap up warm and be extra careful if it’s icy or wet.
A family bike ride can be lots of fun and a 30 minute ride, where you breathing is increased, will help keep your heart healthy. However, before you start cycling in traffic, don’t forget to check the Highway Code for the up to date rules and regulations for cyclists.
To get the most out of the family walk, don’t just stroll. You need to be walking fast enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. This will really help with your exercise regime. When you have finished your walk, a few gentle stretches will help improve your flexibility. If you want to keep track of how many steps you have walked so far, plan your walks, save your favourite routes or set personal goals, get the FREE ‘My Get Walking’ tool.
I love walking and always try to set myself a goal whenever I head out. You can walk around 1,000 steps in approximately 10 minutes, so try to build up gradually to walking around 10,000 steps on five or more days of the week. Pedometers are a really fun way to keep track of your steps and you can use it to work out your average daily steps and then start adding those extra steps to your total steps per day. You’ll be surprised how many steps you find yourself walking every day, and every step counts. Did you know that you will typically use between 300 to 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps!
Whatever form of exercise you decide to do, make the most of the winter. Don’t just curl up with the TV because it’s dark outside. Do something that you would not usually think about doing. Not only does this get you involved in exercise, it could get you involved in a new group of friends.