Winter workouts

7 min read
06 Jan 2017
7 min read
772 words
No one can blame us for our lack of motivation to work out during the cold days, right?

1) Sleep in your workout clothes

This is me divulging my ‘secret’ tool for tackling morning workouts. Half of the challenge is getting out of your pajamas, braving the cold and then getting ready. Instead of that ordeal, be all set for your sweat session by sleeping in your workout gear the night before. Now, all you need to do is peel yourself out of bed and freshen up.

2) Set what works best for you

By this, I am referring to your scheduled workout. Remember that it is much easier for us to stick to our workout routine if it comfortably settles as part of our day-to-day activities. You do not always have to be exercising in the mornings or evenings. If you are unable to dedicate an entire session at once, then you can try incorporating various short exercises throughout the day.

TRY: Create a ritual. First, choose a time of day that works best for you. Decide the days and the respective workouts for those days. To encourage yourself to commit, plan an after-workout programmes such as coffee break with your gym buddy and/or trainer.

3) Earn those extra calories

Winter calls for extra comfort food that we simply cannot get enough of. Working out during winter means that you can afford to indulge in those extra calories without (much) guilt. Take this as a reminder to serve as motivation.

4) Science agrees: You burn more calories in the cold

Sure, the difference may not be that immense, but a little goes a long way, right? The science behind this is that our bodies have to work harder to stabilise our body temperature, which means more calorie burn. Moreover, our body can also regulate our temperatures a little better, which gives us extra endurance.

An added advantage is that winter workouts mean transformation of everyday white fat to beige/brown fat tissue. Research has shown that this helps to burn calories instead of converting them into extra fat. This is the time to work on browning fat tissue for maximum, effective results.

TRY: Can’t seem to make your way out or to the gym? Do your workout at home. My favourite is bodyweight training that ensures both cardio and toning. Some examples are:

  • Forward and backward sprint
  • Squat and its variations like jump squat, weighted squat
  • Plank, side plank, sit-ups

5) Protective shield
Winter workouts work wonders as a shield against so many things. Check this out.

A shield against the cold. I always say, “Keep warm and burn calories!” This is self-explanatory. If you would like to feel warm, do away with the blanket and snuggling under it. Instead, opt for moving and sweating it out to keep warm.

A shield against the winter blues. In winter, since our body works harder to stay warm, it actually produces more endorphins. The cold can have us feeling quite low, so working out means a happier you. 

A shield against winter illness. As long as you dress appropriately for a workout in chilly temperatures, you do not have to worry about falling sick. Instead, exercise in general will improve your immune system and defend you against common winter illnesses (coughs, cold, etc). 

TIP: If you do fall sick, remember not to push yourself too hard, and take a break from your workout routine. Stick to low-impact exercises to gradually get back on track. Do remind yourself to stay hydrated, which can help prevent injuries and help you stay warm throughout the workout.