22 June 2010

Keep warm by exercising

Winter is the season where it becomes even more important to continue regular physical activity, says Ayesha Seedat, Registered Dietitian at the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

A drop in the thermometer reading should not mean that it’s time to duck under those covers and skip those exercise classes or regimes you have been doing over the last few months. Winter is the season where it becomes even more important to continue regular physical activity as this will:

  • help keep you on the path of weight maintenance or loss
  • enable you to maintain cardiovascular fitness
  • ensure that your fitness levels remain unchanged
  • help keep your momentum going
  • help elevate your mood especially on those dark, cold and dreary? Dreary sounds a bit negative perhaps use: ‘difficult to get up’ mornings

At this time, you may be saying to yourself, I have heard this all before…so why are your still sitting cold? Get up, get active and get warm…put some spring into your step even in winter.

  •  Be realistic with your goals, if you can’t exercise on most days – commit to at least three days a week
  •  Choose an activity that you enjoy or mix and match activities to allow for variety
  •  If you enjoy exercising outdoors, try to warm up indoors as it might be easier to face the cold when your body is warm
  •  If you find the transition from your bed to your workout difficult, try easy warm up exercises like yoga to get you started
  •  A combination of indoor and outdoor activities might be more enjoyable and less mundane
  •  Create a gym environment at home (if finances permit) using some dumbbells, an exercise ball and a skipping rope
  •  Exercise with a friend – accountability to someone other than yourself can help keep you on track 
  •  Do extra walking in the mall (a step counter is an excellent tool to help you quantify your physical activity)
  •  Dance or home exercise videos are also a great way to get you to be active indoors (might work better in a group) eg, Hip Hop Abs, personally recommended by the Communications Officer at the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA, Murishca Martheze, who found the DVD, “body transforming and super fun”
  •  Your gym may have a heated indoor swimming pool - just a few laps a day can push start for a toned body. Think Ryk Neethling!
  •  Create your own aerobics workout at home – use music that you enjoy to create a more inspiring atmosphere
  •  If you have stairs at home, this can be used for getting in some physical activity – a 20 minute climb up and down can give you a good cardiovascular workout!
  •  Set yourself a goal for winter and reward yourself with something worth working towards e.g. a weekend away, a spa treatment or a new pair of shoes.


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