6 ways to keep fit this winter
It's colder, darker, and all you feel like doing is staying in and snuggling up with a mug of cocoa and comforting stodgy foods. There are some great ways to keep fit though, whether you want to stay indoors or get out and about. Check these out.
Keep fit indoors
Get fit with apps and videos at home
Clear some space in your living room and get ready to work up a sweat! There are some great fitness apps out there at the moment, so why not give them a go? Even if you're short on time there are plenty of workouts you can do for just 10 minutes. Pilates, yoga and aerobics are fantastic for overall strength with a focus on your core, and if you're feeling like a tough challenge, try an insanity workout. Too intense? There's a great strength and flexibility plan for beginners on NHS Choices.
Add more variety
If you want to add more to your indoor workouts, you don't have to spend money on special equipment. Take a look around your house. Try using baked bean tins as hand weights. What else could you try? A broomstick or mop for twisting and strengthening your obliques? Stairs for running up and down?
If you do want to get kitted out, buy some hand weights, body balance ball, a trampoline, or a skipping rope. These are pretty simple and affordable ways to vary your workouts. They're not too cumbersome to store away either, as opposed to larger equipment like cycle machines and rowing machines.
Get active with others
There's a bigger range of classes available now than ever before. Test your legs' limits in a spinning class, or get your heart pumping with swimming, yoga, martial arts, Pilates, rebounding, Plyometrics, or tennis. Feel like dancing to some Latin American music? Zumba is a great choice as it can help you burn some serious calories, while having oodles of fun. Don't forget with gym membership, you can go as many times as you like for a set monthly amount.
Keep fit outdoors
Warming winter walks
Forest walks are a really invigorating activity. Especially when it's cold! Why? Because you can take a flask of hot soup or tea with you for your satisfying mid-point reward. When you get back home from your wintery trek, your fingers and toes will feel tingly while they thaw and you'll feel a sense of achievement.
Need some inspiration? There are so many forests throughout the UK to get you started, like walking trails with beautiful views among lakes and mountains, and idyllic historical woodlands. Why not search for woodland near you?
Run for your life
If you love socialising while you're out and about, a parkrun is for you. Set aside your Saturday mornings for a 5k (roughly 3 mile) run and take your fitness up a notch with support from others like you. There are quite a few other running clubs out there, like RunTogether and Sweatshop Running Community. There's even a Midnight Runners club for those in London who can't fit running into any other part of the day.
If you're new to running and you want the option to run alone, there's always The NHS Couch to 5K plan. This plan enables a novice runner to gradually build fitness and stamina bit by bit, without overdoing it. You can build up to running 5K over the space of 9 weeks, using a free app which gives you step-by-step instructions via podcasts.
Not just a walk in the park
Is your local gym membership a bit on the pricy side? Take a look at The Great Outdoor Gym Company website to find your nearest free outdoor gym. These have been installed in parks all over the UK and are free for everyone to use - they're proving to be pretty popular too. The National Trust has a free outdoor gym plan so you can boost your mood in the fresh winter air.
Why not try these healthy winter soup recipes?
Why not track your fitness to spur you on?