Don’t let the cold stop you from being your best self for a fun summer

As the winter chill sets in, it’s easy to bundle up in cozy blankets, indulge in comfort food, and put off going to the gym for the second week in a row.

It can be hard to stay motivated and keep up a fitness or exercise routine during the colder months. The important thing is to keep going. Even if you stop or break the routine, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Any activity gets you closer to enjoying good physical and mental health. “It’s important to stay active in the colder months too.

“Regular exercise throughout the year is the next prescription of holistic health,” says Dr Mosima Mabunda, head of wellness at Vitality.

Reinvigorate your body and mind

Stepping into the gym gives you an instant boost. Being in a space filled with people pursuing their personal fitness goals will inspire and motivate you to reach your own health and well-being goals.

Working out not only releases feel-good chemicals, which elevate your mood, it also reduces stress and ups your overall happiness levels.

Starting, breaking, or ending the day with a gym session is the perfect tonic for setting your mind right for the day ahead, getting over the midday hump or preparing for a good night’s sleep.

Get engaged and get excited

If pumping iron or doing “leg day” doesn’t float your boat, group fitness classes might be more your speed.

Visit your nearest Virgin Active or Planet Fitness to find classes for Pilates, yoga, circuit training and even boxing to let your inner child enjoy the fun that group exercise unleashes.

Working out in unison with others encourages feelings of inclusion, community spirit and social interaction. The healthy competition can also motivate you to push yourself harder than you normally would.

Who knows? You may even make new friends to cheer you on along your fitness journey. Double tick for good mental health.

Show us what you do at the gym when no one’s watching. Visit your nearest Virgin Active or Planet Fitness and send us your best video for a chance to win.

You can enter as many times as you like. Not a gym member? Use Vitality Pay as you Gym to enter. Remember to tag and challenge your friends and include the hashtags #LoveMyvitality and #VitalityGymLove.

You can stand a chance to win epic prizes by Virgin Active, Planet Fitness and Huawei.

Image: Supplied

Up your strength and stamina

Regular exercise is linked to a reduced risk of chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Getting your body moving also leads to significant improvements in strength and stamina.

Resistance training builds lean muscle, boosts your metabolism, and improves your body composition. Not only will you hit your fitness milestones, but the strength you gain will make daily tasks such as carrying shopping bags or lifting your kids that much easier.

“Physical activity has the power to prevent disease, boost immunity, improve mental health and enhance overall well-being. It’s really the key to unlocking a healthier and happier life,” says Dr Mabunda.

The power of mind-body connection

Think of the gym as me-time. It can help you centre your thoughts on your workout and how to listen to your body, enhance your flexibility, improve your posture, balance, and coordination.

Through exercise, your body releases endorphins, which create a range of positive feelings and sensations.

A 2022 study by Discovery Vitality showed when women work out for only 30 minutes a week – even at a playful and relaxed pace – it could reduce developing depression.

Further research shows that the rush of exercise is also a pain reliever for those with back pain, and arthritis, and it reduces the adverse effects of poor blood circulation.

It’s time to think of the gym as a sanctuary for your complete wellness. So, set your alarm clocks to break a sweat, have a blast and rejuvenate your mind and your body for a fun summer!

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits