Exercising in the winter – advice and tips

Keeping up a normal exercise routine during winter can be really hard. But don’t let the shorter days and cold weather put you off – here are our top tips to help you keep moving this winter. Tip number one: Be as organised as possible. Try packing your bag the night before and putting your trainers at the end of your bed or by your front door so they’re the first thing you see. You might be tempted to stay inside where it’s warm, but if your workout gear is already laid out for you, you’re more likely to get up and go. Tip number two: Wrap up warm. To start with, choose a base layer that will help to evaporate sweat. A long-sleeved t-shirt made from a synthetic material like polypropylene works really well. Then you need an insulating layer to keep you warm. Something like a fleece or wool material is probably best for this. Then for your third layer, choose a wind and waterproof jacket which will help protect you from the elements. A pair of gloves and a hat a really good idea too, as you tend to lose heat through your head and hands. Tip number three: Warm up properly. During winter your muscles will be colder than usual, as your body tries to keep your core temperature up and it makes this a priority. So take five to ten minutes to stretch and warm up properly. Use gentle movements to get your heart rate up and the blood flowing to your muscles. Tip number four: Breathe through a scarf or a mask. For some people, breathing in cold air when exercising can irritate the airways and chest. So try breathing through a scarf or a mask to warm up the air before it enters your lungs. Tip number five: Stay visible. Make sure you can be seen clearly by wearing light-colored clothing with plenty of reflective strips for high visibility. If you’re cycling, cover your bike with loads of lights so you really stand out. Tip number six: Treat yourself. Maybe make yourself a hot drink when you get in or even prepare meals ahead of time so they’re ready to heat up when you get home. That way, you can enjoy the rest of your day hassle-free.

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