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Physical fitness: 10 winter workouts that you must definitely do to stay active and warm

In winters, people tend to get lazy and skip their workouts to enjoy the comfort of their quilts and spend a few extra hours under them. But in the long run, this can harm them, as leading a sedentary life – when the weather is cold – can be detrimental to a person’s physical and mental health.

If you have been exercising, it is suggested that you continue to stay active. For others, prone to bouts of lethargy, says Aditi Gupta, premium trainer at FITTR, the cold weather “not only makes us lazy but also slows down weight loss due to a reduction in sweating”.

To motivate people to be in shape, Gupta lists the following 10 winter exercises to beat the cold; read on.

* Workout at home

“Training in winter is particularly difficult. If you choose the right activity, you don’t have to exercise outside in the bitter cold. Joining a local recreational sports team or enrolling in fitness classes are two ways to stay active,” she says.

* Set motivational goals

Gupta says if you are unclear about what is possible for you to do, seek advice from a personal trainer, exercise physiologist or other health specialists. “Your ambitions don’t have to be big. While completing a marathon is an admirable goal, so is being able to walk from store to store without stopping.”

* Find a training partner or group

Exercising alone can be boring; there is some social pressure when you exercise with someone or in a group, says the expert. “Making friends and hanging out with like-minded individuals has an added benefit. Consider signing up for a class on Zoom, even if you work out at home. These are great winter exercise options that don’t require you to battle the weather.”

* Warming up and stretching

Warming up before a workout is crucial, regardless of whether it’s winter. But, it becomes necessary in winters. Exercising in cold weather puts you at greater risk of sprains and other ailments. Warming up can reduce the risk of injury by increasing blood flow and muscle core temperature. In fact, before you go out, you can perform some warm-up activities at home, you won’t feel so cold, says Gupta.

Physical Fitness, Winter Season, Workouts, Workouts, Workouts In Winters, Winter Exercises, How To Stay Fit In Winters, Indian Express News Exercising in cold weather puts you at greater risk of sprains and other ailments. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

* Inside hills

After warming up for 10 minutes, turn the treadmill’s incline up to 15 percent or the highest setting available. Do the exercise for one minute at your maximum endurance (a brisk walking pace), then lower the incline to zero and rest for one minute. Then work up to five minutes minute by minute, starting with two minutes at the highest incline and two minutes rest.

* Quick walk

According to Gupta, walking puts minimal stress on your joints and works your lower body muscles. It improves cardiovascular fitness and encourages strong bones.

* Fartlek training

Jog steadily for 15 minutes, then perform 8 sets of 2 minutes each at a moderate effort (about 85 percent), followed by a minute of recovery. Take a five-minute rest to jog slowly, then perform 8 one-minute repetitions at 90 percent effort, followed by two minutes of recovery.

* Know your diet

Eat wisely and avoid high-calorie comfort foods. Doing this will not only prevent you from gaining more weight, but also motivate you to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise.

* Protect your skin

The winter air is dry. Use moisturizer regularly and drink plenty of water to prevent dry skin. For extra protection, apply Vaseline to delicate areas, including the ears, tip of the nose and nostrils. Consider keeping your face covered with a running mask or scarf.

* Inner regions

Before going out to exercise, practice stretching indoors to raise your body temperature. This reduces the likelihood of feeling cold as soon as you leave the house. Before you put on your cold weather gear, take a few quick stretches to improve blood flow to your muscles and joints. To reduce the risk of injury, perform leg rotations, butt kicks, jumping jacks.

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