Get out there, even in the cold!

Exercising in cold weather can help in so many ways. Apart from helping the joints and muscles, it improves your immunity, metabolism and circulation, which can help fight the increase in heart disease and strokes that occur in winter. If you’re happy going to the gym or swimming then keep at it, but if not, please still exercise. Do what ever inspires you the most. If you are going outside, even to walk or tidy the garden, here are some suggestions:

Warm-up well and keep warm

A warm-up produces a 2-3 degree rise in body temperature, which greatly increases joint, muscle and tendon flexibility and reduces the risk of injury. Enzyme and metabolic activity improves efficiency of muscle contraction, with warmer blood improving oxygen uptake in the muscles.

Try having a hot shower, putting your clothes in the dryer or warming them on the radiator. Take 10 minutes inside and do some low level aerobic exercise like jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, skipping, mini trampoline, dancing or Zumba. Gently increase your level of intensity when you’re outside.

Extra tips

Wear appropriate clothing. Add a base layer, and take a neck warmer, gloves or head-band that you could easily carry in your pocket.
Keep hydrated. It’s so easy to forget your fluid intake in the cold weather.
Winter footwear is so important: snow boots or even rubber over-shoe crampons for ice are excellent if the weather turns and can prevent so many bad injuries that occur on ice!
Colds are more common in winter and can often stop us unnecessarily. Use common sense and listen to your body – if you feel OK then go out but if you feel absolutely rotten, then it’s best to rest.
Warm up before gardening and especially raking leaves or shovelling snow!
Treadmills, exercise bikes or bike trainers (to train on your own bike indoors) can be an option if you can’t get out or find a baby sitter.
Find a friend to exercise with, it’s more fun.

Best of luck with your exercise and keep healthy!

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