Keeping fit in cold weather
Posted by: The personal injury help and advice team
It’s easy to find an excuse not to exercise throughout the colder months, especially after experiencing a personal injury. However a fit and healthy lifestyle can be maintained all year round with our tips for keeping fit in cold weather.
Exercise has many physical and mental health benefits. Exercising releases endorphins which triggers a positive feeling throughout the body and also speeds up the healing process. In addition, exercise builds on strength of bones and muscles as well as helping to reduce inflammation after injury.
Don’t overexert yourself
Overexertion can be dangerous and is not necessary to gain results. To avoid further damage to injury, take things at a pace you’re happy with and only move to the next step when you feel ready. Exercising little and often is better than being a weekend warrior and over-doing it to make up for the lack of mid-week workouts.
Even in the colder weather, it can be a great feeling to get outside and enjoy the fresh winter air – it is surprising how quickly it is possible to warm up from a brisk walk! Walking for 30 minutes can burn up to 200 calories and improve the health of vital organs. Just remember to wear high visibility clothing so you don’t disappear in the darkness.
Yoga is a great way to keep fit anywhere, any time. It can be done in the comfort of your own home, at the gym, in the park or even from the office. And while it’s a great way to de-stress among other the mental health benefits it brings, there is evidence that regular practice is beneficial to those with high blood pressure and heart disease.
Yoga will help develop the body’s ability to balance, by strengthening; particularly the ankles and knees which, in turn, reduces the chances of falling and causing further injury.
There are many different levels of yoga, and not all are strenuous; however yoga will still count towards your 150 minutes of moderate activity. There are plenty of videos available online for beginners through to experienced yoga-enthusiasts.
If you’re able to start a gym membership, exercise classes can be a fantastic way to stay fit in colder weather and are a great way to meet new people too. Socialising brings its own significant mental health benefits.
Exercise cover all ages and capabilities and instructors will often suggest options for different capabilities, reminding you work at a pace you feel comfortable with. Whatever your level of physical ability, there are always options available to suit your preferences, for example IFI accredited gyms.
Lack of confidence may mean avoiding attending an exercise class, but it’s important to remember that everyone is there for the same reasons and nobody goes with the intention to make others feel uncomfortable. If you’re apprehensive, see if a friend will come along for the first session.
Fitness DVDs / YouTube
Fitness DVDs and YouTube videos are still a hugely popular way to keep active, especially during the colder season. They can be watched and practiced alone, or make a night of it with friends and motivate one another to get fit – even if you don’t manage to do all the moves, you’ll have fun trying!
If you’re not sure where to start in the world of fitness DVDs, try Joe Wicks ‘Lean in 15’ workouts or Davina’s ‘Toned in 10’. As for YouTubers, POPSUGAR Fitness has a great low-impact video as well as videos that cater to frequent gym-bunnies. There are also hundreds of smartphone apps with a fitness focus to keep you on track.
Although seemingly easy, spending five minutes climbing up and down stairs can be challenging and tiring. Stick to the first few bottom stairs and gradually increase the amount, or go for the full set of stairs depending on your physical ability.
Always remember the key to most things is moderation. Don’t push yourself beyond your limit because this could result in a more severe injury and not only that, it can put you off to try it again.
Please note, this article has been provided as information only and should not be regarded as specific advice to your needs