Freezing your butt off: How to get your butt exercising in the winter
Our member and physiotherapist, Shae Martello, encourages us to get active...even in the cold!
It’s 6am, your alarm is going off and it’s still dark outside. You lay there for a few minutes, trying to talk yourself into getting out of bed and putting your runners on. In the silence, you notice the gentle pitter patter of rain on the roof. “Aaaaah.” Back under the covers you go. Sound familiar?
As the days continue to grow shorter and winter sets in, many of us find it a struggle to find the motivation to get up early to exercise before work. We know exercise all year round is important to maintain overall health and wellbeing. So why don’t we make that extra effort to keep active during winter, the season when we are most likely to suffer from health issues?
There are many excuses we will give ourselves during winter to stay in the warmth instead of going out and exercising; “I’m too tired”, “It’s too cold”, “It’s raining”, “It’s still dark”, “I’ll wait until we get some good weather”, but these excuses aren’t going to keep you healthy.
If you are having trouble getting up in the morning, the simple solution is to go to bed earlier. However, if you’re still having trouble getting up after your 8 hours, why not put the alarm clock on the other side of the room, next to your runners and jacket. By the time you reach your alarm, you’re already out of bed, so you may as well put your runners on and get going!
Oh, but now you’re up you’re thinking it’s too cold outside! Don’t go back under the covers! Pop on your favourite exercise music and get sweating in your lounge room. Try these simple warm-up exercises to get your blood pumping: 30 squats, 20 seconds of high knees, 10 push-ups, walking lunges the length of your hallway. Now you’re good to go! Just make sure you’ve got that jacket on. When you get back from your walk or run or whatever you fancy, cool down inside to avoid getting too cold and reduce your risk of injury.
If you’re more like me, and prefer to exercise at night, you may be missing out on precious vitamin D. Got the winter blues? Try going for a walk at lunch time to get some sunlight. Exposure to natural light is a known depression fighter, especially for seasonal affective disorder, which is a condition brought on by the shorter, darker days.
If exercising on your own inside sounds boring, tee up with a friend to meet at a park (or the ice skating rink!). Having the other person expecting you will be enough to motivate you to leave the house. Just make sure your friend is reliable! Alternatively, you could check out your local gym, community centre or health club for classes or casual visits.
So whatever form of exercise you prefer, don’t give it away during winter! Rug up and get sweaty.
Shae Martello is a physiotherapist at Healthfocus Physiotherapy in Albury, NSW. Shae has an interest in researching how nutrition affects recovery in adjunct to physical activity, and also safe resistance training for adolescents to improve performance. Shae promotes physical activity to her clients by brainstorming how it can fit into their daily routine and helping them explore other options if they do not have an interest in conventional activities. Shae's personal favourite form of physical activity is resistance training and she attempts to educate all clients on the benefits, especially adolescents. Call (02) 6041 5744 to make a booking to see her today!