For those of us who prefer to exercise outside, whether walking, running, cycling or gardening, the winter months can present a few challenges when it comes to keeping fit! For some of us, the solution is often to ‘hibernate’, foregoing the trainers or gardening shoes for some slippers and a seat by the fire.
However, as Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson points out, this is not an ideal solution, particularly as we get older – as it is important to keep active, with strong muscles and good flexibility in our limbs and spine. So he has put together a few, helpful tips, that will (we hope), motivate you to keep active during the winter months.
Exercise At Home
On a winter’s evening, after work, or on a wet, cold morning, there is not the same incentive to get out for a walk or run, or go out to an exercise class as on a warm summer day. As an alternative, if you can clear a space in front of the TV, you could try one of the many DVDs available offering workouts for all ages and abilities in a variety of disciplines including Yoga, Pilates, cardio and more. If you have a smart phone or tablet, there are free fitness apps that can get you motivated and moving!
Have A Life Laundry
Clutter can accumulate over time and, if you are finding that your home is ‘bursting at the seams’ the winter months are the perfect time to have a ‘life laundry’, de-cluttering, reorganizing and deep cleaning your home. You will find that it is not only good for the body but for the mind and your wellbeing too. It is quite surprising how many calories are burnt during household chores – for example, the Website, CalorieLab, states that even light housework burns over 100 calories per hour and vigorous cleaning and other chores, will burn more than 200!
Think Of Ways To Be More Active
Getting off the bus a stop early to walk an extra few hundred yards might not be a favoured option if it is raining or sleeting, but thinking of a way to build in extra physical activity to your daily routine could be as simple as walking up and down stairs instead of taking the lift or escalator.
Taking the stairs strengthens and tones the legs and provides cardiovascular exercise that burns 9-12 calories per minute, for most people. For this reason, it is important not to overdo things at the start, and if you have a heart or circulatory problem, check with your GP before adding stair climbing to your daily routine. Build up gradually and set yourself goals and you will find your strength and stamina increasing.
Consider Joining a Gym
While you might not be able to think of anything more boring than using a treadmill at the Gym, (although with headphones, TVs and screens displaying scenic routes, they do their best to provide more interest, these days), there are many other activities you could take part in. Exercise classes can be fun and social. Alternatively, think of a few of the activities you would like to take part in and look for a Gym or fitness centre offering these. Many Gyms offer ‘pay as you go’ for classes, so there is no need to pay membership fees if you want to try out a few new things and there are certainly plenty to choose from in the Winchester area.
Reasons To Stay Active
Quite apart from the physical benefits of exercising regularly throughout the cold, winter months, it is a good way to maintain mental wellbeing too. Even without the obvious social aspects of joining an exercise class, a home workout will have a positive impact, help you to relieve stress, sleep better and boost your mood.
Getting a winter health check from your Winchester Chiropractor that can pinpoint minor problems before they get worse is also a good idea. There are often ‘little niggles’ that might discourage us from joining an exercise class, or prevent us from being more physically active, but which are easy to remedy. Please call us at Bradford House Chiropractic to arrange an appointment today on 01962 861188.