As the summer finally draws to an end, the lingering darkness of the mornings is beginning to last for a little bit longer. When accompanied with the longer evenings, it can seem that there are very few hours in the day where it is light outside!
Although there are many other enjoyable things about the coming winter months, the minimal daylight hours can often mean that your motivation to work out can be severely lacking. With staying inside looking ever-more appealing due to the cold temperatures, you might need a bit more motivation to get your body to work out.
Alfred Lewy. MD, a sleep mood and disorder researcher at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, says: “Darkness is a cue for your brain to crank out the sleep-inducing chemical melatonin. In the winter, when you wake up before sunrise, it’s like having jet lag — for four or five months”. It is because of this that you may struggle waking up in time for your morning workout. He suggests going to bed slightly earlier to boost your mood when you wake up, making it more likely for you to climb out of bed and be ready to work out!
Whilst you may recognise that keeping fit throughout the frosty months is important, it isn’t always appealing. Keeping your motivation levels up until Spring might seem like a mammoth task, but the key to staying active is just not to stop! Giving yourself a couple of weeks break, no matter what time of the year it is, is usually met with some resistance when it comes to hitting the gym again. Powering through and continuing your usual routine is more likely to encourage you to consider working out.
It has been discovered that during the winter months your body is two times more likely to store fat. In a study by the University of Colorado, it was found that the production of ATLPL, a chemical that promotes fat storage, was almost double of that which it was in the summer. Author of the study, Robert E. Eckel, said: “We found that people who are usually physically active are more protected from weight gain”.
Continuing your regular fitness regime is a good way of combatting this. However, if you were partaking in seasonal sports, sometimes this isn’t possible. Trying out new sports might be the best way to get you in the mood to get outside. Although attempting winter sports such as skiing and ice skating isn’t always viable, taking up new indoor sports or enrolling in gym classes can be a good way of getting active! Enrolling in classes or group activities is a good way of ensuring that you keep attending. Having other people rely on you to play or recognise your face at a class should spur you on to attend more, thus keeping you working out through the colder months.
If one of your main issues is staying in shape on your own accord, why not hire a personal trainer? A personal trainer will hold you responsible, and having someone push you to reach your fitness goals might give you that little boost that you need to keep motivated when you wouldn’t usually be. Not only that but engaging in regular exercise will help increase your energy levels, which will make waking up in the winter easier.
Buying workout clothes can make you want to work out more than you may think! During the winter, making sure that your clothes keep you warm and protected from the adverse weather conditions is a necessity. If you’ve been working out in incorrect footwear, there are a multitude of injuries that you can sustain, such as Runner’s Knee. That is why ensuring that your choice of footwear is appropriate for the activity that you will be taking part in is so important. The budget doesn’t have to be massive, but an effective pair of footwear should offer the degree of support that you need, as well as cushion your feet.
If you ever find yourself suffering from an injury such as Runner’s knee, recovery can be made easier with the help of Physicool’s bandages and coolant. To check out more information, take a look at our range of products available online!