Finding the motivation to stay active can be difficult at the best times, and when the nights draw in and the temperature falls it can be more tempting than ever to hang up the workout gear and retreat to the comfort of the sofa. However, with a little focus and dedication you could find the ideal routine to keep those endorphins pumping and your body healthy over the cold winter months.
We’ve more than 60 exercise classes suitable for participants of all ages, regardless of fitness level, as well as both swimming and gym facilities, tennis, squash and badminton courts and more to help keep your body and mind in tip top shape. To become a member, or ask a question about any of the information discussed below call us today on 01403 247572.
Establish a workout routine
The first step is always the hardest! Establishing a regular exercise routine is the key to maintaining your fitness throughout the winter. It’s also just as important to find an activity that you enjoy – with so many options available there’s absolutely no reason to go to the gym if you don’t enjoy it, why not try swimming, or badminton? Hate group sessions? Why not sign up with a personal trainer to help keep you motivated!
Get a workout buddy
Finding a workout buddy or exercise partner is another great way to make staying fit easier and more enjoyable. Not only does it provide a level of social support, working out with friends also means you’re less likely to skip that session after a particularly tiring day.
Busy work schedules, responsibilities and colder and shorter days mean that for many people the thought of exercising outside during the winter is less than appealing. Thankfully there are a huge range of indoor activities and classes:
Not only is the gym a great place to burn calories, it’s also the perfect place to rid yourself of the stresses of day-to-day life. Chances are that just by turning up you’ll find the motivation needed to complete a workout, and if that’s not the case every time don’t be too hard on yourself.
With so many different pieces of equipment it’s also easy to keep things interesting, try alternating your sessions between cardiovascular exercise and weight training with varying exercise intensity (it doesn’t have to be heavy!) to target different areas of your body.
Indoor fitness classes
If the gym isn’t your thing, or if you’re looking to supplement your gym time with something a bit different, indoor fitness classes are another fantastic way of staying active. We offer more than 60 weekly indoor fitness classes for all abilities ranging from Yoga and aerobics to Pilates and body pump. Find our fitness class timetable here.
Swimming uses nearly every muscle in the body and is another great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance. It is also extremely low impact meaning it puts very little stress on joints, perfect for those with inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis.
Cold weather exercise
Outdoor exercise, especially during the winter months, can be highly beneficial to both the body and mind. Our Fitness Yard is the perfect place to enjoy a range of outdoor classes that are sure to warm you up and get your heart pumping! Classes include:
- Move It
Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine – chemicals which are associated with increasing happiness and confidence as well as reducing anxiety, stress and even depression.
Studies have shown that exposure to cold air can boost metabolism – helping to increase energy levels, burn fat and improve sleep quality. Exercising in the cold also forces your body to work harder, helping to improve heart health and cardiovascular endurance.
If you’re still not convinced about outdoor workouts we’ve added a brand new cover to our outdoor Fitness Yard to help you to stay warm and dry, no matter the weather.
Whether you’re choosing to exercise indoors or outdoors your safety is our priority. If you are aware of any pre-existing conditions such as asthma, heart problems or Raynaud’s disease you should consult with your physician prior to engaging in any exercise.
Warm ups and cool downs
A warm up and cool down is as important as the exercise in between, don’t be tempted to skip it! Not only does it give your body and muscles a chance to ease into any activity (especially important if exercising in extreme cold), it helps to prevent injuries and reduces the chances of muscle soreness.
It may not seem likely but it is just as easy to become dehydrated during the winter months. In fact fluid is lost not only through sweat, but through breathing, the drying power of the wind and the increased production of urine. Hydration is key, so ensure that you drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise, whether that be water or isotonic sports drinks.
Wear appropriate clothing
Investing in appropriate clothing is another way to make exercising in the winter more enjoyable, as well as essential to keeping you safe and healthy. For example:
- Wear high visibility, brightly coloured clothing if you’re out when it’s dark
- You lose the majority of heat through your extremities and any exposed skin – ensure to cover your head, ears, hands and feet
- Dress in layers to ensure that you can regulate your core body temperature, when you start to feel too hot or too cold you can add / remove layers as necessary
- Wear waterproof and moisture wicking fabrics to keep warm and dry
- Certain conditions require certain footwear, ensure that you choose the right footwear for the activity you are doing, and consider the weather conditions you intend to do it in – for example if you plan to run outside during the winter your running shoes should not only provide support but also a high level of grip
Do you burn more calories exercising in winter?
Exercising in the winter / cold weather results in the body raising its basal metabolic rate (BSR) in order to compensate for body heat loss which causes the body to burn more calories.
Is it good to exercise when it’s cold?
There are benefits to exercising in both warm and cold weather. Cold weather exercise forces your body to work harder, and for many people it allows them to work for longer, helping to improve heart health and cardiovascular endurance.
Get fit for winter
Stay fit and healthy this winter and become a Bluecoats Sports member today. Our all inclusive memberships start from just £35, and we offer a wide range of flexible membership options so you’ll only pay for the facilities you intend to use. Call us today on 01403 247572 to start your fitness journey.