14 Jul 2016 2 Minute Read Article by MiNDFOOD
You started off the year with a health bang and have managed to stick to your weekly exercise and diet goals fairly well all through autumn. But as the change of season approaches once again, how will you prepare for being active and eating well during the winter months?
While willpower and incentives are great exercise motivators, as the cooler weather creeps in, it is not just mind over matter that you need to be worried about. Sure, it gets harder to wake up and face the cold and dark on the morning run and of course cravings kick in as we leave work for home on those rainy and windy evenings. But aside from that, the cold weather may also increase our risk of injury.
If you’re not prepared for the cold conditions you could be putting your body and your exercise regimen at risk, warn health experts.
Like all good things in life, practice and preparation makes perfect, so don’t let wintry conditions become a barrier to your exercising.
By following a few simple preparation tips you can look after yourself – to keep you enjoying being active throughout the whole of winter.
- Acclimatise yourself to exercising in colder weather. For example, train outdoors instead of inside.
- Make sure you warm up, stretch and cool down for longer than usual.
- Be aware that sunburn can occur even on cold and cloudy days. Apply broad-spectrum 30+ sunscreen to exposed skin. Also wear eyewear with UV protection.
- Drink water before, during and after activity.
- Dress in layers to trap heat and prevent heat loss. Add or remove layers of clothing as necessary according to exercise level/conditions.
- Make sure footwear fits you properly. Footwear that is too tight or too loose will affect skin circulation and cause blisters.
Set yourself a fitness challenge to get you through the winter months. Find a running buddy to give you an incentive to get out of bed each morning and go for a brisk jog, five days a week. Or, sign up for a charity fun run and work towards that goal.
It’s tempting to fall into the trap of indulging in “comfort food” during the cooler months as well. But this time of year is ideal for setting yourself eating goals to go hand in hand with your fitness ones and to improve your health and wellbeing right through to summer.
Try challenging yourself when it comes to what you eat. For example, include fresh fruit and vegetables in every meal, or have a healthy handful of nuts mixed through plain yoghurt for a snack. Ask a friend to join you and sign up for the Symbio 14-day challenge, a simple way to kickstart getting your balance back over winter. Other challengers report that Symbio helps support inner balance and overall wellbeing in just two weeks.