7 things that will inspire you to stick to your exercise plan this winter

7 things that will inspire you to stick to your exercise plan this winter

Does this sound like you? During the summer months exercise is a significant part of your lifestyle; healthy eating is second nature and swimming, running, or walking under the warm sun is the perfect way to start or finish your day. Then daylight-savings ends and almost overnight, it becomes impossible to get out of bed. Exercise plans go out the window and your total lack of energy means gym motivation is at an all-time low. Keeping in shape over the winter months is difficult for a lot of people and inspiration is hard to come by when it’s dark and cold outside, but we’re hoping we can help…

1. Exercising outdoors can alleviate winter blues and boost energy levels

While the initial bite of the cold can be a bit shocking, it’s also invigorating and the way it stimulates your senses makes you feel alive. Think of the cold as Mother Nature’s own energy supplement. Exercising outdoors can crank up your low energy while decreasing tension, frustration and depression. Exercise in general can increase your levels of those feel-good hormones called endorphins, and because your body has to work harder in the cold, your endorphin production actually increases, leading to a happier state of mind. Exposure to natural light is known to reduce depression, especially for those that suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition brought on by the shorter, darker days caused by a lack of sun, activity and nutrients – especially vitamin D.

2. You can burn more calories in the cold

For those trying to keep their weight under control, here is a weight loss tip… exercising in the cold actually burns more calories! To get your temperature up, you need to move faster and work your body harder. Try incorporating some vigorous cardio into your exercise plan; you’ll be amazed how appealing jogging, cycling, power walking and circuit training becomes when you’re trying to get warm.


3. Exercise improves detoxification

Regular exercise helps the body to eliminate toxic substances from the body by increasing the blood flow to the liver, improving its ability to detoxify waste. Cardio is your friend in winter. Try to choose an activity that increases your heart rate like brisk walking, gentle jogging, swimming or cycling – these will all get your blood pumping.


4. Exercise improves immunity

During winter, when there are more germs circulating around the office or being brought home by the kids, we become more exposed to illnesses. Regular, moderate exercise boosts your immunity by increasing the activity of immune cells while improving lymphatic circulation and cardiovascular breathing. The fresh air outside is also a lot healthier than the air conditioning inside, where germs breed.

5. Exercise reduces stress levels, anxiety and depression

Exercise has a positive effect on our mind, body and spirit. If you are suffering from depression or stress, regular gentle exercise is one way to improve your overall sense of well-being. One way that exercise improves our mental state is by removing the by-products of stress that surge through our bodies, helping us to find inner calm.

Some forms of exercise that are renowned for improving emotional well-being are yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, but tranquillity can also be found in gentle jogging or walking.

6. The worst part is getting started

Just do it! Half of the battle is taking the first step. Finding inspiration is no small feat when the temptation of bed is calling, so try out a few tricks to see what motivates you. That might mean packing your gym bag before going to sleep the night before, arranging to work out with a friend or getting into your gear before leaving work.

Try to switch off that inner monologue that’s deterring you just long enough so that you can get started. Don’t open the curtains to check the weather before you put on your gear, just get dressed and go. Once you’ve started, it’s more than likely you’ll finish.

7. Get more out of your exercise with high energy foods

Including natural superfoods in your diet can increase your energy and exercise performance. Maca and Spirulina in particular can benefit you massively. Maca is an ancient Peruvian root vegetable, dating back as far as 1600BC. Native to the Andes Mountains of Peru, Maca has been used for centuries by one of the oldest civilizations on earth - the Incas, for its nutritional and medicinal benefits. Traditionally Maca has been used to improve stamina, endurance, athletic performance and overall energy. Try sprinkling Maca onto your porridge this winter.

Spirulina is a powerful source of natural nutrients ideal for vegetarians, athletes or anyone in need of an energy boost. Spirulina has numerous benefits, providing antioxidant protection as well as support for everyday health and vitality.

Alternatively CoenzymeQ10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like nutrient found in all body cells. The main function of CoQ10 is to promote energy production within our cells. Cells with the greatest energy requirement, such as the cells in the heart, liver and immune system, have the largest need for CoQ10. While CoQ10 is usually manufactured in the body, supplementation may be required due to a natural decline in CoQ10 levels that comes with ageing.

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

Post New Comment

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time