The physiotherapists at Body In Motion see it every year: winter sets in and people’s activity level plummets. We understand that it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise in the cold when the warmth of a cosy couch in front of the fire is calling your name but staying fit over winter is incredibly important.
By staying active and keeping your body moving, you ward off aches and pains, maintain a healthy weight, improve your immune system and support your mental health. Here are 5 tips from your local physio for staying active during the cooler months ahead:
Invest in Warm Weather Gear
One of the biggest pieces of advice our physiotherapists can give you is to get yourself some warm yet breathable clothes that will make outdoor workouts comfortable and attainable. If you have weather-appropriate workout gear, like active wear, wind breakers and possibly even ear muffs, you won’t be daunted by the cold or the rain.
Warming up is always important, but never more so than during winter. A warm up by literally warms your muscles and tissue, which increases their elasticity and suppleness. When you go out into the cold with cold muscles, they can seize up, leading to injury. Our Tauranga physios recommend increasing warm up time, stepping up intensity gradually and involving the entire body. You don’t want to end up in physiotherapy because of cold muscles!
Get a Buddy or a Schedule
Any physiotherapist will tell you, clients are more successful with their exercise plans when they are accountable. Getting yourself a jogging, walking or gym buddy will make it harder to ditch exercise, even if the weather’s not particularly nice. It also makes exercise more fun and social so it doesn’t feel like a chore. If solo exercise is more your style, you can stay accountable to yourself by scheduling exercise into your weekly diary, giving you little reminders to keep active and helping track your exercise frequency.
Try Something New
One of our favourite physiotherapy tips for winter exercise fatigue is to mix things up. If your weekly run in the sun has lost its magic by winter, swap it for a new, exciting activity. Try a kick boxing class or lane swimming, outdoor boot camp or Zumba. You’ll find that doing something different will give you that motivation to keep going.
We’re lucky in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa to have mild winters where outdoor exercise is possible year-round, but this doesn’t mean it’s the only type of activity you can do. There’s plenty of fun and challenging indoor options. You can sign up for a yoga class or get a gym membership, but to keep it more affordable, just head online. Any number of exercise videos are available at the click of a button – just grab yourself a mat, a water bottle and discover exercising from the comfort of your lounge.