Without a doubt, it’s harder to stick training schedule in winter. The days are shorter, and it takes a lot more to get you out under the covers and into your gym or running gear, ready for a productive session. Still, the saying “summer bodies are made in winter” rings true.
If you have been working hard the past few months, don’t fall into a cold trap that leads to you losing all your hard-earned gains. Here are five tips to make the most of training in colder weather.
1. Don’t skip on your run
Studies at St Mary’s University in London found that our bodies find it significantly easier to run in colder weather than in conditions that are hot. Speaking to Runner’s World, professor John Brewer explained that runners actually feel more strong and confident in their running abilities when it’s a little colder.
This is because a higher thermal sensation makes us more comfortable, and makes a marked difference in our perception of our ability to sustain effort in cooler temperatures. If you’re a runner, winter might just be the best time to work on improving that PB.
2. Get your schedule sorted
Maybe it has to do with the idea of hibernation, but winter somehow just feels like a more introspective time than summer. This is why it’s a great time to find out exactly what type of exercise schedule works for you, and to set those personal goals for the next few months.
If you haven’t done it yet, now is a great time to start keeping a fitness journal to keep track of nutrition, your moods, sleep schedule and training schedule. This will help you to figure out exactly what kind of lifestyle works best for you, and to implement it before summer knocks on our doors again.
3. Make ample use of stationary fitness equipment
If it is feeling particularly nippy outside, it may just be the best time to get back on that treadmill you’ve been avoiding for six months. Don’t be fooled by its bland exterior – a treadmill is for much more than just running.
4. Take to the water
Indoor pools mean your swimsuit certainly doesn’t have to stay put until the weather warms up again. Swimming is a great way to mix up your cardio training, while doing low-impact exercise that builds resistance – and it’ll make you forget that it’s cold outside for a while.
5. Mix it up with some yoga
The health benefits of yoga are well documented, and practicing this form of exercise is an excellent way to keep body and mind in great shape. If you haven’t tried yoga yet, this contemplative way of staying fit will help you to get in the right space of mind for the second half of the year.