Friday, December 28, 2012

Work out...whatever the weather

It’s that time of year when most of us start to think about staying indoors and snuggling up on the sofa. The nights are drawing in and the temptation to stay tucked up by the fire may prove tricky to resist.
It’s easy to come up with an array of reasons to remain indoors, rather than getting out and about in the great outdoors. Whether there are chores to be completed or you’d quite simply rather kick back with the kids and play Xbox 360 games, the human capacity for self-persuasion can be pretty powerful.
You may be finding it a mammoth task to maintain your motivation, embrace the elements and get outside to exercise. Yet staying indoors in the warm may prove to be cold comfort after all, as according to statistics, the average person’s weight-gain over the winter period is around two to four kilos.
Now there’s no anthropological reason for us to make like hedgehogs and hibernate, so why not buck the trend, challenge yourself and continue training. Not only will you stave off those extra kilos, you’ll also benefit from keeping common colds at bay too. Exercise is proven to improve the function of your immune system, so you’ll be sure to steer clear of the sniffles.
Physical activity also buys energy levels and boosts your mood, which is just what you need during the dark winter months. If you do get out during the day you’ll find yourself in a better frame of mind, benefiting from the happy hormones released in the body as a result of exposure to natural light. There might not be much of it, so soak up that sunlight while you can.
If you participate in outdoor exercise, it’s vital to dress appropriately in cold weather and layering is the best option. You need to be able to peel off layers as you start to sweat and then put the clothing back on when you cool down.  It’s also important to stay safe and be seen at this time of year, so wear a reflective outer layer when out and about.
The most effective ways of tackling the challenge presented by the cold and dark is to participate in small group training sessions or to keep fit with a friend. The company of like minded individuals will distract you from the chilly challenge at hand. Social interaction is particularly beneficial and it will boost your mood and keep the dark day doldrums at bay.

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