When the weather outside nips your nose and you fancy nothing more than curling up under a blanket, motivating yourself to exercise can be tricky. But keeping fit over the winter months is important for staying healthy and in shape as well as keeping you in good spirits.
Exercising in the cooler weather does require a bit more forward-planning as the chilly temperatures make your muscles tighter and less elastic. So a good stretch and a warm-up to mobilise your muscles is vital to steering clear of any injuries.
Before you hit the gym or head off an a stroll or jog try these exercises to loosen everything out and get warm (without switching the radiators on!). If you're short on time you can give to exercise or don't feel like venturing out into the cold, you could also try a few round of this as a mini-workout in itself.
- Start by imagining you’re in the centre of a clock face. With your hands on your hips, lunge forward with your right foot to 12 o’clock, keeping your body upright and your tummy tight, and then coming back to the centre.
- Now lunge to your side, to 3 o’clock, then 9 o’clock in a sort of ‘curtsey’ fashion where your right foot lunges behind your stationary left foot.
- Finally, lunge backwarkds to 9 o’clock, before swapping to move the left foot around the clock.
- After completing this set, progress with the next sets by: Raising the opposite (straight) arm into the air above your head as you lunge around the clock, then raising both arms into the air as you lunge around the clock and finally performing the last set again (both arms in the air) but this time, twice around the clock, and a little faster.
This will engage the muscles, including your quads and glutes, that play a vital role in most of the movements that your body will make. Raising your arms will also help mobilise your shoulder joint and girdle, to help you with your posture and give your upper spine a hand.
Just by moving in three different direction, so forwards and backwards, side to side and around, you will be engaging muscles from almost all your body incuding your core, helping you exercise more easily and hopefully dodge injury as you launch into action.
There's more health and fitness advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.