Why You Should Change Your Workouts Going Into Winter
Once an age-old tradition, ‘living seasonally’ has reemerged into present day as an important consideration for connecting with nature, honouring your body’s natural cycles and choosing food that is aligned with seasonality.
Regardless of whether you’re surrounded by rain, snow or sunshine, it’s important for both your mind and body to stay active all year round. That being said, there are still some elements of seasonal living that can apply to our training routine as well.
While most of us have a base rotation with gym routines, group classes or personal training, it’s always a good idea to break up your training routine into 4x quarters or ‘seasons’ to put emphasis on different muscles, keep your body guessing and build a healthier, more productive life.
As we head into May, autumn is upon us. It’s important to keep up the routine and habits that you established in the warmer months, but be mindful that excess amount of high cortisol in your system for an extended period of time can be damaging. As it gets colder and you start to pull out your winter woollies, consider pulling back a little bit.
I am not at all saying stop challenging yourself, rather, if you are doing HIIT workouts more than 3 days per week you may want to consider swapping one of these with a barre class, yoga, Pilates or something that is a little more nourishing.
In winter it’s so important to keep active as the days are shorter and colder and this can affect the mood of many individuals, not to mention that fact that many of us will struggle with a weaker immune system in winter.
If you struggle with motivation, first and foremost, find a workout that you like. Secondly, make sure that the place you sign up to do it has multiple scheduling options so that if you miss your morning workout, you can still make it to class later in the day.
In the colder months, it’s also important to get some vitamin D, which means a little bit of sun exposure. Try to go for a walk outdoors for at least 15-20 minutes every day. I saw a meme the other day that said something to the effect of “don’t forget to drink water and get sunlight because you’re basically a house plant with more complicated emotions” and it really resonated!
My next tip for winter is to sign up for a fun run and train for it as now is the perfect time. The good thing about running season is that there is an end date associated with it so you have to train to be ready in time. Better still, sign up to a run club so you can connect with others
As the colder months fade and we come out of hibernation, it is time to ramp up the exercise to get ready for summer. But keep in mind that the last long weekend was in June so many of us will be a little run down from work, tired and a bit sluggish.
Now is a good time to transition into a tailored plan if you want to or sign up to a more active class to help motivated you and make you feel great quickly. Make sure that you listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard if you are exhausted.
It’s also time to spring clean your diet. Start becoming more disciplined in spring to correspond with a more intense training regimen. The two factors together will help you leap into summer looking and feeling your best.
Spring is also a high time to pollen so if you are prone to allergies consider workout out on the beach or indoors away from the offending trees!
Now that the sun is out and shining, summer should be the pinnacle of your training pattern. The days are longer so there are certainly no excuses for sleeping in. Keep up with the habits you’ve created througout the year, as well as incorporate ‘bonus’ exercise by getting outdoors and soaking up some much needed vitamin D. Add in or swap out some of your workouts for a swimming session, sand running, surfing and an outdoors circuit to make the most of the environment and beautiful weather.
Ben is the owner and co-founder of Flow Athletic, an incredibly successful yoga and fitness studio based in Paddington. It is now known worldwide and they have a lot of internationals coming in to try out their classes. He was also named one of the 2017 ‘Men of Influence’ by Men’s Style magazine.
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