MY fabulous guest blogger Laura Williams offers some great fitness tips on how to winter-proof your workout and keep fit and healthy over the coming months. Shorter days and plummeting temperatures often mean exercise and good nutrition take a back seat at this time of year. But if you want to stay energised and ward off winter blues (and winter weight gain) you’re better off eating well and moving lots. Here are Laura’s top fitness tips for making it happen.
Winter-proof your workout
If you struggle with motivation on cold winter evenings, think indoor activities: ice skating, a fun Zumba class, 15 mins of an exercise DVD, or even an evening’s bowling are all way better than doing nothing. This will help you stay on track when lacing up trainers to brave icy pavements is a no-no.
Try a wintery menu
Okay so maybe you won’t be able to take your summer salad‘n’sorbet habits into winter but do revamp your winter eating so it’s comforting and healthy. My fitness tips are think roast parsnips and carrots drizzled with honey; spicy fruit compote with fromage frais, and hearty pasta and pulse-based soups.
Get your ABCs
Brightly coloured fruit and veg are high in antioxidants which will help to fight winter infections. Other good antioxidant-rich foods include zinc-rich oysters and red meat and selenium-rich Brazil nuts.
Create a living room gym
If you can’t face an outing to the gym, invest in some cheap kit such as a large gym ball and you’ll be able to put together your own simple routine – you’ll be done and dusted in 15 minutes. This is one of the best fitness tips.
You can even go kit-free too – there are many variations to moves such as squats and lunges that are as effective as any machine, while push ups and crunches can be done while you wait for the kettle to boil.
Get some gym buddies
You can enlist the help of friends, work colleagues and family members to ensure your scheduled exercise sessions happen. You could sign up for a short charity run or even hold DVD evenings where one person brings their fave fitness DVD each week and plays teacher! Share those great fitness tips!
Don’t forget your fish
Studies have found inhabitants of Nordic countries (who experience significantly higher levels of cold and dark than we do) actually have a much lower incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder. One theory is that this is to do with the amount of fish they eat; it’s high in both Omega-3 and Vitamin B3, which can both help to ward off depression.
Do venture outside
Studies find exercising in green spaces has a profound effect on mental health. However, when it’s very cold make sure you warm up first. That might mean a brisk walk before you start running, or postponing sprinting or tackling big hills until you’re well into your run.
I hope you find these fitness tips really useful. Do let me know!
Laura Williams is a fitness expert – find out more about her and her work at www.laurawilliamsonline.co.uk and follow her on twitter for fantastic advice…