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6 ways to stay active over winter

It can be the time of year we put on our winter coat, but not with these health tips and tactics.

Winter is traditionally a time to stay indoors and put up your feet up in front of an open fire. It can be a time of year where we eat “hearty” (read: less healthy) meals, and where we are allowed a little weight gain under the cutesy title of a “winter coat”.

But how can we stay fit when the colder weather strikes? We have a few suggestions to keep you healthy during the cooler months.

Embrace the cold

Do something outside that gets the heart racing. Depending on your level of fitness, this might mean a winter hike rugged up with a beanie and scarf, or taking advantage of the season’s skiing or pop-up ice skating rinks. The most important thing is that you enjoy it, because having fun means you might just walk that extra mile.

The great indoors

When the cold really bites, you might find it better to put a roof over your head as you exercise. You can go to the local Westfield for a walk through the shops, join a gym for some low-impact classes, or take your partner to an evening of salsa at the local community hall. A lot of exercise equipment is a sham, but if you have some simple small weights you can even do some strength training in your lounge room.

Warm up properly

No matter what you choose to do, don’t exercise without a bit of a warm-up. Cold and stiff muscles are more prone to injury, so make sure you do something – a light indoor jog, some star jumps – to make sure you are ready for the next phase of exercise.

Get some vitamin D

Over winter, many of us tend to be a bit low in vitamin D because of how much time we spend inside. Daylight and sunshine not only supply the body with vitamin D, but they can also give us a boost in energy and help strengthen our immune system – perfect for fighting off winter colds.

Watch the comfort food

We all like a bit of creamy soup or stodgy dessert when the temperature drops, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Consider keeping a food diary so you can keep track of just how much comfort you are getting in the form of calories. And head out in the cool air to walk off some of the sweet treats.

Involve others

We can all get a bit slack over winter, so try to set some group goals. Go for a walk with friends, or start an exercise group in your Probus Club. When you have people to meet up with, you are less likely to duck your exercise responsibilities.

So leave the hibernating for the grizzly bears – there is plenty to get you going during winter. You just have to turn up the heat on your fitness regime.