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Fitness Friday: Don't Let Winter Stop You from Keeping Fit

I don't want to say it, but I think we've totally left summer behind. I'm back at school and, even though there might be some warm weather left, we've mostly lost our chance for sunshine. Autumn and winter have their pluses, but they can both make us feel tired and lazy. The days are short, the nights are long, and there are several holidays when we're encouraged to stuff our faces. It can be difficult to stay fit, and I've been guilty of sometimes letting myself go a bit. And then spring and summer arrive, and you have to get fit again in time for the beach. If you want to stay fighting fit the whole year, here are my tips for staying healthy in the winter.

Get Into Winter Fitness Fashion
One of the reasons that it's easy to stop exercising in winter is because it's cold. Maybe you usually go for a run or bike ride, but it's too chilly when the temperature drops. If you can't go out for fear of freezing your ears or hands off, you need to get enthusiastic about weather appropriate fitness gear. For example, the women's jerseys at Retro2Ride are ideal for keeping you warm on a bike ride. If you go for a run, wear warm leggings, long sleeves and a hat to keep you toasty. You'll find that you start to warm up as you get going. If it's dark, don't forget to be safe too, with either reflective clothes or lights.

Join a Gym
If you just can't bear to be outside, it's time to suck it up and take out a gym membership. Yes, they're expensive. But it will give you somewhere warm and dry to work out whenever you want. If you want a cheaper option, first try your local council. Often you can get a membership that's cheaper than elsewhere, and you can use any of your council's sports and fitness facilities. Another option is to find an affordable gym, such as an easyGym. You could also try The Gym Group, which offers a pay as you go option.

Go Straight from Work
When it's dark by four o'clock, finding the energy to exercise is so difficult. And mornings are out too because the sun doesn't rise until you're off to work. One of the best ways to solve the problem is to go straight to the gym (or out for a run/bike ride) as soon as you finish work. You can do your workout, then take a shower and head home for dinner. Then you have the rest of the evening to do whatever you want. You've already completed your exercise for the day, so you should feel more awake and energetic.

Switch Your Routine
A lot of people have a summer workout and a winter one. If you usually run outside when it's warmer, you don't have to use a treadmill at the gym when it's cold. Instead, you could switch to swimming, yoga or a spin class.

You don't have to turn into a slob just because it's a bit chilly outside. When the weather takes a turn for the worst, join me in keeping warm at the gym.

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