📷We’re reaching the time of year when the nights are almost on top of us by the time we finish work or not long after getting home, the temperatures are nowhere near their summery highs, and it’s more likely to be wet, windy, freezing or all of the above. The willingness to exercise diminishes in some circumstances and so motivation drops. But we still feel we should get in our two or three-time weekly burst to keep our eternal youthfulness aglow.
Here we’re going to find some ways to stay on track, get back on track, or even find a new track altogether. For those of us who have a complete aversion to the inclement weather and nothing short of a lagging jacket will take us outside, how about looking at what’s available indoors?
There are lots of classes in conventional gyms and other pop-up gyms. You have your Ladies Only Lifting in the town, you have your Town Fitness, you have online, and private training at home. You also have things like badminton, martial arts – many, many martial arts, there’s UFC, jujitsu, karate, taekwondo, and all sorts of indoor activity which is dry and sheltered, and you get to meet other people. Plus, it’s good to get a change of direction, something new and exciting, it’s good for the mind and good for the body. Swimming, for instance, is indoors, nice heated warm pool, exercise away to your heart’s content, and also it’s a break from the impact of running on roads all summer,so it takes the impact out of the body, knees etc.
For those who are willing to brave the outdoors, it’s essential to stay dry and not just warm. We live on a little island that’s out in the Atlantic Ocean, and it likes to remind us sometimes how wet and cold that water is. It’s important to invest in waterproof gear or a waterproof jacket at least. More layers and polyester-type fabric for clothing is better because the cotton stuff will absorb and hold water, and if it freezes…. So stick to the polyster – plenty available out there, from the bargains at Aldi and Lidl to the more expensive, name brands etc. Make sure if you’re exercising outside at night you wear something that lights you up, whether you have reflective gear or at least, reflective jacket. Stick to areas where there is good lighting and also, from a safety point of view, stick to well-populated areas.
Regarding motivational training, it’s good to have friends or training buddies to go with. It’s always tough to get out for an evening when the fire is whispering sweet nothings in your ear. Exercise doesn’t have to be overly serious. You can have the chats and a bit of craic but you’re still out doing it, it’s all good stuff. Hydration is also important. We’re often inclined to drink less water in the winter months than in the summer but remember by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated so if you are exercising it’s important to keep the water topped up.
If you’re not used to exercising start slowly and build up gradually to your desired time. Take the opportunity to exercise wherever you can. Walk the kids to school instead of taking the car, it’ll be better for all of you. Take the stairs at work instead of the lift. Start a lunch club at work with a group of colleagues and spend at least 30 minutes of your hour getting out in the fresh air.
Always make sure to warm up well, and cool down afterwards.