Lifestyle » Health
When the weather becomes colder, human beings tend to move less, eat more comfort food and hibernate.
This is quite automatic but many people are unaware of the great benefits of exercising during the winter months.
In colder temperatures, your heart does not have to work as hard, you sweat less and expend less energy. This means you can exercise more efficiently.
Studies have shown that exercising in cold weather transforms white fat (especially belly and thigh fat) into calorie-burning brown fat.
Contrary to popular belief, exercising in winter can boost your immunity. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a few minutes of exercise a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections.
Yes, it is cold, but interestingly enough shivering also burns a significant amount of calories because while you shiver your body creates heat.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week for maintenance of general health.
To get you through the winter months, I encourage you to keep a fit-schedule by diarising the times you have set aside for your 30 minutes of daily exercise.
Besides boosting your immunity, a daily 30 minutes workout will release feel-good hormones (endorphins), de-stress the brain chemicals, strengthen your heart, reduce depression and leave you feeling happier and more energised during the dreaded winter.
To make your five-day 30-minute exercise routines interesting and fun, add some variety and do something different every day.
I can imagine there are many who are juggling too much and struggle to commit to a straight 30 minutes, especially with hectic work schedules, home schooling schedules and housework.
So I would suggest doing short bursts of exercises throughout the day. If you can commit to six five-minute routines throughout the day, it is also a workout.
Here is a five-minute cardio routine that you can try:
Try this shortly after waking up, before your mid-morning tea time, before lunchtime, late afternoon before sunset, before dinner and just before you go to bed.
If you are a non-runner and you want to build yourself up to running 5km non-stop, this is a basic routine for you that will get you from zero to hero in 10 weeks. All you need is 30 minutes, three times a week and a stopwatch to time yourself.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
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