There are enormous health benefits in keeping up your exercise routine over the winter months. Daily movement increases lymphatic circulation, providing a boost for your immune system and enhancing the body’s detoxification processes. Keeping your body moving, particularly when you would rather snuggle up on the couch, will also improve energy levels and lift your mood. Here are a few little gems on how to keep moving this winter and how to stay injury-free.
Connecting with nature, even when it is chilly outside, is a great way to keep moving this winter. Greenspace (spending time in nature) has been shown to have both physical and mental health benefits. So, rug up and take a hike with some friends, or even just get out of the office and take a stroll around the park on your lunch break. However you choose to move, take a deep breath and let the cool crisp air invigorate and energise you.
For the rainy days or when it is just too cold to venture outside, why no roll the yoga mat for a cosy lounge room yoga practice. If you after a little more of an adrenaline kick, opt for something such as indoor rock-climbing or sign up with an indoor multi-sports team. No matter how bad the weather, there is always a way to include some movement into your day.
Warm up properly
If you are braving the elements, it is really important that you do a good warm up. In colder temperatures, it can be easier to injure yourself if your muscles are not sufficiently warmed up. Ensure you allow a little extra time to get your circulation going and muscle warm before hitting the pavement. Cooling down and stretching after a workout is important for preventing post-exercise muscle soreness, just make sure that you don’t get too cold in the process.
Hydration is just as important in the colder months and is often neglected. Humidity levels are generally lower throughout winter, so you may not notice how much sweat you are producing as it will evaporate faster. A good way to keep an on your hydration levels is by looking at the colour of your urine. If you are well hydrated your urine should be a pale yellow or straw colour, if it is darker in colour then you may not be getting enough water. Muscle cramping can be another indicator of poor hydration, so if you get the old charley horse, check in with your hydration levels and adjust accordingly.