Looking to keep warm through exercise this winter? So you might, as the Western Cape has just experienced one of the severest storms in recorded history, while the northern reaches of the country will start battening down the hatches as cooler temperatures begin to circulate.
Of course, when temperatures the drop, there’s the temptation to eat more and exercise less, but here are some handy tips to stay fit even when you’re braving the cold.
Invest in active wear that keeps you warm
If you’re used to exercising when the sun’s out, you might only have a pair of shorts and vests to don when you’re gearing up for your workout.
But cold weather equals cold muscles, and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to pull or strain a muscle.
As per Huffington Post.com: “Cold weather certainly can increase your risk of straining or tearing something. That’s because the lower temps cause our muscles to tighten a little more.”
Start shopping for running jackets, hyper warm tights and sweatshirts that keep the cold out.
Work out with a friend
Gym motivation goes through the roof any time you enlist the help of a training partner says WomenStuff.co.za. By working out with a friend, you’re more likely to stick to your routine, and you’ll find it more fun too.
Settle into a routine and you’ll find the winter cold is less of a reason to put off your session.
Health24 advises snacking on “complex carbs” like fruit and veggies. The old favourite, chicken soup, is also safe to indulge in, as it doesn’t feature cream.
Further, remember to keep hydrated. Colder weather strips your skin of moisture so it’s important to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. H20 has the added benefit of keeping the urge to snack in check.
Prepare your meals ahead of time
In winter, one of the greatest barriers to exercise willpower. It’s cold, there’s a biting wind and rain is falling. Not only is the temptation to eat greater, but easily accessible foods at your fingertips are more appealing still. The problem with easy food is that it’s very often processed, low in nutritional value and high in sugar.
To overcome this, prepare meals in the evening before the next day so that when those pangs of hunger inevitably strike, you can snack guilt-free.
Look for good gym deals
Many clubs run cheap membership deals during winter to entice people to brave the cold and get active. Zone Fitness offers a Winter Warmer special under R200 a month that also includes a free upgrade to their premium membership bracket, Superclub (allowing members access to any of the 20+ gyms nationwide).
Look around for the deal that works best for you, but don’t delay, because come July many of the biggest deals have already sold out.
For more information about Zone Fitness go to http://zonefitness.co.za/, or contact them at @ZoneFitnessSA (Facebook).