Winter Exercise and 5 Ways To Make It Fun

Fitness // Tim Pittorino, BHSC

Reviewed by: Tim Pittorino, BHSC

Back in the olden days, as in the prehistoric olden days, Winter was the best season to store as much fat (spare fuel) as food was scarce, and more fat meant a better chance of survival. However with a few modern day inventions such as Refrigeration, Uber Eats and 24 hour food delivery we humans no longer need this extra layer of ‘spare fuel’ for survival.

It has been said by many a man that ‘Training sucks in the cold and dark weather’, I hear ya. When it’s cold outside your body is screaming for just one more episode snuggled up on the warm, comfy couch. Your body will never say throw that hot chocolate down the drain, grab a cold bottle of water and go running in your crop top and running shorts. BUT! Speaking from years of experience you just have to rip the band aid off. Without turning on the tv or having a shower, get out there and walk, jogg, anything that gets your blood pumping!

Before you know it you would have: burned a few hundred calories, improved your fitness and warmed yourself up from the inside, which is soooo much better than the short-lived heat from the hot chocolate, not to mention you took a few more steps towards weight loss-ville rather than weight gain city.

With this ‘Ripping the Band Aid off’ mindset here are 5 tips that will make Winter exercise so much fun:

Do it in the Sun! To avoid training at the chillier times of dusk or dawn pack your kit for a lunchtime workout. This is good for you on so many levels. The heavenly hit of sunshine helps balance out your sleepy hormones which affect your (Winter-heightened) appetite hormones. So, for a double-score of appetite control and keeping yourself alert go for a soul recharging midday workout.

Stay in the Light. If you’re more of a Group Exercise person avoid the temptation of the tractor beam that is your home, heater, couch and worst of all remote control! Try going straight from work to the gym, this one strategic logistical step is often the difference between gaining or losing weight over Winter. And as you know from past experience, dinner always taste better after a workout.

Become a Heatseeker! Our amazing bodies are in a constant state of homeostasis, which is a fancy word for balance. So, when your body is cold it craves warmth. Who doesn’t want warmth from hot: chips, chocolates and carbonara’s. However, try getting it from this form of winter exercise: Hot Yoga! This is the ultimate body warmer for getting stronger, more flexible, less stressed and most importantly keeps you warm for hours after.

Layer Up If you only have skimpy activewear of course you’ll freeze. So layer up, avoid any unnecessary stress on your immune system, then take layers off as your body heat rises. Remember to rug back up after finishing as the sudden drop in body temperature can really lead to the sniffles. A little trick I learned was if you buy yourself an awesome activewear winter exercise jacket! You’ll be more prone to wearing it… to the gym – #WhateverGetsYouToTheGym.

Try Something New While we’re all frantically busy feeding our bank accounts too often we forget about feeding our soul. To remind myself that life is more than just paying the bills and raising the kids I often ask myself ‘When was the last time you did something for the first time?’ Winter is the perfect excuse for trying some new form of activity. This doesn’t necessarily need to burn one thousand calories, but more importantly puts a smile on your face. It could be riding your bike like you did when you were a kid or with your kids! Time to tap into your old fun self.

Embrace the Cold. Instead of hiding under the doona covers get out there and really produce some heat. By walking, running, dancing or cycling faster than you normally would, your favourite pump up tunes can really help with this initial burst and can easily get your winter exercise going! Explode out into the cold like a stick of enthusiastic dynamite! Not only does it wake you up better than any mochaccino latte ever can but it also helps you burn more calories (in order to maintain normal body temperature) as well as move faster than normal. So turn that fear into a thrill and get out there. I always like to start by shadow boxing at the top of my steps to the Rocky Soundtrack. #WhateverWorks #DontJudge

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