The Citizen (Gauteng)
Skip through winter
HAPPINESS IS: DON’T HIBERNATE, KEEP THOSE ENDORPHINS FLOWING There are lots of advantages to keeping up your exercise routine.
Chilly weather is definitely here to stay as we go deeper into autumn and closer to winter.
When the weather becomes colder, human beings tend to move less, eat more comfort food and hibernate.
This is quite automatic but many people are unaware of the great benefits of exercising during the colder months.
In colder temperatures, your heart does not have to work as hard, you sweat less and expend less energy.
This means you can exercise more efficiently.
Studies have shown that exercising in cold weather transforms white fat (especially belly and thigh fat) into calorie-burning brown fat.
Contrary to popular belief, exercising in winter can also boost your immunity.
Another interesting fact is that shivering burns a significant number of calories because while you shiver your body creates heat.
That said, if you want to take advantage of the benefits the cold, it’s time to ramp up your training programme and get moving.
Even if it’s simply 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, which is the bare minimum requirement by the World Health Organisation.
Besides boosting your immunity, a daily 30-minute workout will release feel-good hormones (endorphins), de-stress the brain chemicals, strengthen your heart, reduce depression and leave you feeling happier and more energised.
It’s still early days, so we hope you will at least make an attempt to keep moving.
You don’t have to commit to long training sessions.
Even if you have a few shorter training sessions throughout the day, it works perfectly.
Five minutes here, 15 minutes there, it doesn’t really matter. As long as you are moving and pumping blood throughout your body.
For example, you could wake up and do a quick five-minute routine to help kick-start your body and prepare your for the day.
Five-minute cardio routine to kick-start your engine in the morning:
Note: Set a 1 min stop watch 1. Jumping jacks (1 min); 2. Running on the spot (1 min);
3. Knee high jumps (1 min);
4. Squat jumps (1 min);
5. Mountain climbers (1min).
Sometime during the day if you’re working from home, you could pick up your skipping rope and skip for five to 10 minutes.
Skip for 1 min, rest for 10 seconds. Repeat five to 10 times.
So, you can personalise your routine. Just keep moving, that’s all that matters.
Find what works for you to avoid hibernating.
Best of all, find an accountability friend you can go on the autumn/winter fitness journey with.