Top 5 tips for winter fitness in the great outdoors

Di Westaway | CEO Wild Women On Top

Aaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh … dragging myself out from under my toasty warm doona on a cold dark rainy morning to exercise is not fun. It’s torture.

I waiver … hit the snooze button and snuggle down with my two Burmese kittens.

Why am I doing this?” I vaguely wonder, as I doze off.

Bzzz bzzzz” … that damn alarm again. “Oh … yes … I’m going to climb the World’s Most Beautiful Mountain”.  I jump up, gulp down a coffee and fly out the door for my sunrise workout.

Without that dream adventure, heading to the stunning snowy peaks of Peru in 8 weeks, I’d definitely still be in bed. How about you?

Outdoor exercise in winter can be tough. It requires lots of motivation, lots of mental tuffness, and lots of juggling for most of us. And the temptations of tasty hot comfort food, a bottle of red on the couch watching “Big Bang Theory” with the kids and the warmth of the fire threaten to sabotage even the most motivated of us.

So, how can you put the sparkle into your outdoor winter workouts? How can you ensure that you not only stay fit and healthy over winter, but perhaps even improve your fitness, and keep the dreaded winter lurgies away?

Here’s a few tips to help you thrive through winter workout worries:

1: Pick an adventurous activity you've always dreamed of, like skiing; a wild weekend of walking with your friends; climbing a little mountain or trekking in your nearest National Park. Then book your spot on your mini break. This gives your workouts focus.

2. Make a little weekly plan and save it in your phone so that you commit to doing something physical every day. That way if you miss one day you still have six others lined up. And if you can’t make a workout happen, rug up and just go for a half hour walk after dinner with your partner.

3. Ring a buddy and go walking together seeking out as many hills & stairs as u can find. You'll be amazed how happy you feel afterwards. And you’ll be boosting your immunity at the same time.

4. Commit yourself to morning exercise so u can relax feeling smug at night and still enjoy your family time. Research shows that early workouts have the best adherence rate. And once you’ve formed a habit, you’ll love it. When in doubt, sleep in your workout gear.

5. Walk and ride your bike for transport, park your car as far away from the shops as possible. You'll be amazed how fit you can get by leaving the car at home for regular errands. This is especially important if you spend most of your day at a desk. Incidental exercise is really essential so do it daily.


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