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Forget the winter chills, get ready to sweat!
11th May, 2017
Eat for immunity
Our bodies are at risk of infection during the colder months. Stock up on vitamin C, B vitamins and vitamin D. Also up your garlic quota. Garlic remains one of the greatest immunity boosters during the winter months. It has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties, so add plenty to your favourite chicken soup for a double dose of immunity-boosting goodness.
Warm up before you workout
It is so easy to blame winter for decreased energy levels. Feeling cold is one of the biggest reasons for putting off training. If you’re feeling chilly and tempted to forego your workout, have a quick indoor warm up in front of the heater – you are more likely to change your mind and pound the pavement!
Stretch it out
Stretch in the shower on chilly days and nights. This gives your core temperature a chance to rise, allowing for an easier stretch. Muscles tighten and stiffen in the cold, so they need to be stretched more frequently. Make regular stretching a priority during winter months, not just during your workouts.
Cold weather stimulates urine production, and with every breath you will see water droplets being exhaled from your body. Drinking water regularly is just as important during winter as it is in summer.
Cook for the week
By now, we all know that preparing our own food is the safest way to guarantee good stuff goes into it. But who has the time? Cook a few times a week/month (depending on your commitments and preferences) in bulk, then freeze your food in single portions. This means you’ll have ready-made meals on the nights when you don't have the time or energy to cook, and you'll get the convenience of a takeaway with the goodness of a homemade meal.
We tend to neglect our need for fresh air in winter months. Where possible, park a little further away from your destination, inhale the cool air and burn some extra calories.
Train at home
If you’re on a budget, train at home. A bed for tricep dips, skipping rope and stairs for cardio and space for lunges and push-ups is more than enough. Waking up on a freezing morning, you will be a little less reluctant to train when you know you won’t be battling with the elements outdoors.
Invest in fitness DVDs
If the gym is feeling far away, invest in one or two fitness DVDs. Most of them require minimal equipment and offer you the structure of a supervised class indoors, away from the cold. Well worth the once-off investment.
Try copy-cat cardio
Training at home often means traditional cardio exercises are out of the question. Skip the run and make your cardio even more effective by mimicking the strength moves you practice indoors. Whether you’re super-setting strength exercises with cardio, or practicing cardio separately, ditch the weights, up the speed, and turn your strength routine into a cardio one. Quick travelling lunges, squats, burpees and running man planks are all great calorie crunchers that will get your heart pumping – no big surface area required. Aim for 20-30 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week.
HOW TO DO IT:
Practise each move for 1 minute, followed by a 15-second rest.
Start in a crouching position with your hands on the floor, and knees under your chin. Keeping your arms straight, jump back and stretch your legs out into a plank position. Hold for a moment then jump back to your crouching position. Follow this with a jump straight up into the air to complete the burpee.
Stand with forearms crossed in front of your chest, with feet wide apart and toes pointed out. Sink down until knees are bent to 90 degrees, pause for a moment then rise back up to your starting position.
Lie on your back in a straight line, with arms at your sides. Starting with your legs slightly elevated, draw your knees and chest together and hands forward, past your knees. Hold for a moment then return to your starting position.
JOG ON THE SPOT
This is pretty straightforward. Jog on the spot, lifting knees up to the chest and alternating arms as you move.
Start in plank position with arms and body straight. Draw one knee up to your chest at a time, alternating as quickly as you can.
Stand with feet together and forearms crossed in front of you at chest height. Take a big step back with one foot and sink down until both knees bend to 90 degrees. Pause for a moment then rise back up to starting position. Alternate with other leg.
Start standing with feet wider than hips-width and arms at your sides. Sink down until knees are bent to 90 degrees, reaching hands towards the ground. Rise up by jumping into the air, raising arms above you, then landing and lowering back down into a squat.
Lie on your back with knees and heels parallel and slightly apart. Drawing your tummy muscles in towards your spine, lift your torso off the ground to form a straight line from neck to knees. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the move then lower back down to your starting position. Want more of a challenge? Keep one leg lifted in a straight line and perform single-legged bridges instead, alternating legs.
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