The TeaShed Winter Fitness Guide
Despite still being in the pumpkin spiced latte craze of autumn, judging by the weather it may as well be the dead of winter. (But I guess that’s what you get for living in Newcastle!) So here’s The TeaShed’s Winter Fitness Guide. Helpful tips, tricks and motivation to help you avoid hibernating this winter!
I think everyone can relate to this all to well: it’s early in the morning, your feet are chilly under the covers and not a peep of sun is shining through the curtains. Winter is coming.
This time of year is often dedicated to getting your bikini bod ready for summer BUT doesn’t that seem like a mammoth task when it’s cold and wet outdoors and all you want to do it snuggle up in from of the fire? But don’t worry, we’re here to help you with winter month motivation.
Make a plan
Getting organised by making a meal plan and/or a workout plan can take a huge weight off your mind. It’s best to prepare in advance so you don’t have the addition of dreaded decisions or the option to just not bother. Put some time aside to plan your week, think of what you’re going to eat and make a shopping list then plan when you have time to work on your winter fitness levels. Don’t be put off by thinking you’re “too busy”, short and intense workouts are still effective. Start by doing a few sets of 10 squats whilst the kettle boils!
Being prepared with you meals is a trick that helps all year round as allocating time each week to prepare your meals for the next few days makes everything run much smoother. Take advantage of seasonal vegetables like sweet potatoes, swede and parsnips for hearty stews and soups. And winter berries are a great way to get your 5 a day in. Add them to porridge at breakfast or to top granola and natural yogurt as a snack.
Get some winter workout gear
Thermal long sleeved tops, fluorescents, gloves and waterproofs. The right clothing can make all the difference to exercising outside during the winter. We all know the feeling of never wanting to leave the snuggly blanket burrito we’re wrapped up in, but it helps vastly if you know you can take the edge of the cold. Fluorescent tops or reflective strips are important to have in the winter as we have less hours of daylight and what used to be a run in the afternoon sun seemingly becomes a midnight jog. Stay safe and warm!
Have a playlist
A study published in the US Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that if you have music playing whilst you work out it can increase your endurance by up to 15%! This study looked at “motivational rock or pop” like Queen and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Listening to music can make you feel more positive about exercise and therefore helps improve your performance. You may think this is cheesy but tracks like Don’t Stop Believing and Eye of the Tiger really can help you beast your workouts. Personally, I’d throw in a bit of Beyoncé for inspirational girl power purposes. Obviously preferences vary, so as long as you pick a song you like that has a good tempo it wont be long until you find your winter fitness secret weapon!
Hydration, hydration, hydration! Even though we’re not in the height of summer it’s still absolutely vital to stay hydrated. Our bodies are approximately 65% water and they need it for almost every biological process we carry out. Ideally we should all aim for 2 litres of the good stuff each day, so about 8 glasses. If you’re not too fond of plain old water, add some fresh fruit, citrus peel or sliced cucumber for a tasty twist. Tea is a great way to boost your fluid intake and the fabulous range of flavours means you’ll never get bored. Some of The TeaShed Fitteas such as Yerba Mate and Lemon Verbena have properties which aid exercise and recovery so incorporating them into your winter fitness routine can have multiple advantages. But don’t overload on the milk and sugar if you’re watching your weight!
Whether you find a workout buddy or join a gym class, working out with someone else is always a winner. Some how the fact that it’s started raining heavily half way through your 5 mile jog can be less traumatic and more hysterical when you’re with a friend. There are lots of fabulous things about gym classes; motivation and support from fellow members, being instructed by someone who actually knows what they’re doing and also they take place INDOORS! So whether you need each other for motivation or the make the winter weather bearable, teaming up is the way to go.
Workout at home
Again we have the obvious advantage of being sheltered from the elements and also if you’re not a fan of public gyms working out at home is a much more comfortable environment. You don’t even have to have fancy equipment as body weight exercises such as press-ups and lunges are still effective for improving your fitness. HIIT (high intensity interval training) can be a great way to boost your metabolism and burn fat. All you need for this is some space and a good playlist!
Mix it up
To make sure the dreary weather and lack of variety doesn’t get you bored, remember to mix up your workouts! Vary time, intensity and type. Try something new, if you’re usually just a gym go-er try one of the classes available, common ones like spinning or kettlebells, or perhaps go for something different like body combat, tabata or zumba. Even if you’re solely a runner you can still keep it interesting; change route, vary the duration of your run, go at a different time of day or vary the pace by incorporating HIIT. You could also do something completely new, see if there’s a climbing wall near you or try out a dance class. You may just find your new favourite exercise.
Hope you find this helpful! The TeaShed blog has lots of tasty, healthy recipes that you can add to your repertoire so be sure to have a read. You can also comment below to share your own winter fitness tips.