Beat the winter whinge: tips to overcome anti-exercise excuses when it’s cold and chilly
Exercising in winter presents its own set of unique challenges. It gets dark early. It can be chilly. It can be hard to keep motivated. Why bother?
The truth is that keeping active in winter is an important part of keeping yourself pain and injury free. Choosing to maintain any level of exercise is a great way to keep your body fit, manage your weight, maintain your wellness, and keep the winter blues at bay.
At this time of year, the biggest barrier to regular physical activity can be our own mindset. Our brains can be very clever at convincing us not to do the best thing for ourselves. Do you feel like you need some help to tame your own lack of motivation? Here’s five common excuses and how to beat them:
“I usually exercise in the morning and it’s too cold to get out of bed.”
Beep! Your alarm goes off and your room is still deep in darkness. To fight the temptation of snoozing your alarm and rolling over for another half an hour of sleep, try:
- Laying out your workout clothes the night before in a spot where you can see them when you wake.
- Arranging to meet a mate. Not only can training with a friend be more fun, you’re less likely to bail on your workout plans.
- Switching up your exercise routine. Avoid the outdoors and try an indoor activity in winter. A gym workout, an aerobics class, yoga, pilates or even a swim in a heated pool are great alternatives to consider.
- Taking advantage of the comfortable day temperatures in Sydney. Change up your routine and consider going for a jog or walk in the sunshine on your lunch break instead.
“I always seem to tweak an injury when I exercise in winter.”
It is certainly possible to feel your muscular aches and pains more so in winter. It’s for this reason that you shouldn’tshy away from exercise. Continuing to be mobile keeps your muscles strong and reminds them how to function. In conjunction with visiting your chiropractor for regular spinal adjustments, we recommend you:
- Spend extra time on your warm up before you exercise.
- When you finish, don’t sit still. Ensure you keep moving to avoid your muscles becoming stiff in the cooler weather.
- Allow more recovery time between fitness sessions for your body.
“I can’t keep motivated.”
It doesn’t take much to break a routine. A couple of sleep-ins, a few bad health choices, and suddenly it’s been a week or more since you’ve been active. Don’t give the game away – the best way to keep on track during winter is:
- Create a goal. Whether you sign up for a community race event (like City 2 Surf) or aim to do your first handstand at yoga, setting yourself a personal task can help keep you going when spring seems distant.
- Remember that consistency is key. By keeping on track, you are not falling behind. When spring and summer do come calling, you will have maintained your body to take advantage of the warmer weather. You won’t be starting your fitness regime from scratch.
“I don’t like exercising in the cool air – it hurts my throat and lungs.”
It can. Cold air adds more stimuli to your lungs, bronchi and mucous membranes which narrows your bronchial tubes reducing capacity. It can be unpleasant and make you feel like you can’t breathe as you exercise. To reduce this:
- Inhale through your nose and out your mouth.
- Dress in layers before you head out. Not only does this help trap heat near your body and keep you warm, as you work out you can adjust your clothing so you don’t overheat.
- Don’t forget you can ditch the outdoors and exercise inside instead. Just keep active.
“I can’t exercise because I’m sick.”
If you’re already feeling under the weather, it is important that you rest and look after your body. However, if you are currently well and fighting fit, keeping active during winter actually helps fortify your immune system. Not weaken it. To beat the winter bugs it’s best to:
- Continue to be mobile. Walking and other low impact exercise can be great way to keep your blood pumping without pushing your body too far.
- Remember to make good food choices and keep hydrated – just as in summer.
At Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic, we put you first. We believe in offering chiropractic care that enables you to make informed and educated choices about your health. If you are suffering pain or injury and would like to talk to us about how we can help you get mobile and active again – get in touch right here.