Updated: Sep 18, 2022
With the nights now starting to draw in and temperatures dropping, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to leave the house and exercise outdoors. Training isn’t always easy during the winter but it is important to stick to it, to maintain your level of fitness, especially with the current COVID risks.
Research shows that the benefits of outdoor fitness outweigh the negatives hands down. This is because our bodies are better able to tolerate activity in the cold, which means we can keep exercising for longer. You will no doubt be pleased to hear that due to the fact that your body has to work harder to keep you warm when you are outside, we actually tend to burn more fat in cold weather than in the warm! 👍
Over the next few months, you will see a few additions to our timetable, including a dedicated weekly running session (aimed at our beginner group to help improve your running over a period of 10 weeks), extra kit sessions and extra instructors to keep you motivated and encouraged! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information around this.
Our instructors have been delivering outdoor fitness sessions over the winter for the last 10yrs, so we know how to look after you. You will start to notice the style of our sessions change slightly as we approach winter, as we will use the paths around Abington Park more often when safe to do so to avoid running on soggy, muddy grass and we will avoid the darker areas as well. There are times when it will be better for us to use the grass however (such as when the paths are icy), so please make sure you dress accordingly.
Here are our tips for keeping warm, dry and fit during the winter:
Gloves! Gloves are almost a must-have for winter training, and you want to look for waterproof ones which aren't too big and cumbersome. If you choose woolly gloves, the first time we do press-ups, they will be soaked and make your hands cold for the rest of the session. 'Sealskinz' gloves are excellent and at the moment, Go Outdoors are offering a discount of around £13 on a pair.
Base Layers. These are a tight fitting shirt or leggings that you can wear underneath a t-shirt or sweatshirt to keep you warm and are proven to increase blood flow and muscle support and help with muscle recovery. When you wear layers, the air gets trapped between them and keeps your body warmer than if you were wearing just one layer. If you wear baggy clothes, every time you move, the warm air inside your clothing will be replaced with the cold air outside. It's important not to wear items of clothing that will restrict your movement however, so a base layer and t-shirt will be perfect for most sessions. Look on our website shop and you will see we have some for sale which you can choose with or without the GFT logo.
Bring a warm jumper or coat, but leave it in your car. As mentioned above, you don't want to be wearing a big jacket or coat during the session, but having one ready to put on afterwards will be perfect. Leave it in your car boot so you can grab it quickly after the session ends and warm up on the drive home. If you walk to the session, let us know and we will be able to look after your coat or put it in our vehicle.
Bin Bags. It might sound odd, but it you put a couple of bin bags in your car, these are really useful for keeping your seat dry should you get wet during a session.
Spare trainers. Again, having a spare pair of trainers in your boot with your coat will make your journey home that bit more comfortable and if your trainers get muddy during the session, it will also keep your car nice and clean too.
6. Trail trainers. These are a great investment for the winter, and will really assist your training. The extra studded grips underneath will help you when running, turning or even holding the plank. You can buy these for around £25, maybe something for the Christmas list...?
7. Lights. Please don't bring or wear head torches to the session. As useful as these are for you to see where you are going, the moment you look in the direction of anyone else, they will be momentarily blinded! Our instructors will be using lights to mark out areas on the floor to run to or avoid, and will also have lights on their bags. We will also be using the more well-lit areas of the park and avoiding any dark parts to keep you safe. By the time our warm-up is finished, your eyes will have naturally adjusted to the darkness and you will be fine - trust us, we've been doing this a long time! 😀
8. Warm drinks. After the session is finished, get yourself home, showered and dry and get a warm drink inside you. Green tea will help your metabolism but hot chocolate will help your mood! 😉
Training outdoors in the winter can be fantastic! As winter sets in, bugs and viruses become common place and do the rounds, only a few of us will escape without being hit hard by the common cold or flu. Obviously, at the moment COVID is a serious risk to everyone, so it's more important than ever to stay healthy and strong during the winter when you are at higher risk. Doing exercise will not only help you fight off any symptoms of a cold or flu but reduce the likelihood of you even being affected.
Exercise can boost your mood at any time of year, but it has a particularly profound effect during the winter, sending those all-important feel-good hormones soaring, and keeping the winter blues at bay. Research has shown that a good workout can be up to four times more effective than taking antidepressants for improving symptoms of depression. As well as being an effective mood booster and pick-me-up, getting outdoors in the fresh air in cold weather can help replenish vitamin D levels in the skin
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We would love you to keep training with us over the winter and experience a different side to Get Fit Today. We also want to encourage your friends, family members or work colleagues to give us a try as well. Send them this blog maybe to motivate them, and encourage them to try a FREE taser session. If they join us on a membership, we will give you a FREE MONTH to say thank you.
If you know of anyone who might be interested, please send them this link.
See you in the park.