Spring might be just around the corner but if the weather forecast is anything to go by, the cold, gloomy and wet weather isn’t going anywhere fast. Working out in cooler weather is tough enough, so making the most of your time in the gym is vital. Exercise is a great way to keep yourself in shape, not just physically but mentally too. After all, post-workout endorphins are a foolproof way to boost your mood on gloomy days. So, when you find yourself at the gym next, make sure to optimise your routine for those cooler, in-between days and get the most out of your workout by following these top tips.
Invest in warm, comfortable gear: Comfortable, moisture-wicking exercise gear is a must in general, but on cooler days, it’s important that your activewear helps you retain heat, absorb sweat, and protect you from the elements too. The right activewear will help your body adjust and perform under chilly temperatures, making your workout more comfortable and enjoyable. And if you’re training outside, ensure you check the weather and layer with a water-proof jacket if necessary.
Don’t skip your warm up: Stiff muscles will increase your likelihood of injury – and this risk increases by tenfold on colder days. As much as you might want to get your workout over and done with, take the time to warm up properly before you get started to avoid strains and sprains, and help your body perform at its best during your workout.
Make friends with cardio: Running, jogging and power-walking are great cold weather workout options as they get your body moving and blood pumping quickly, meaning you can smash out a highly effective workout in as little as 30 minutes. If you can’t stand the idea of running or jogging, consider a HIIT class instead.
Consider a pre-workout supplement: Pre-workout supplements can help increase your energy, strength and focus during workouts and aid in your recovery afterwards. There are a number of different brands, types and flavours available but if you’re unsure about pre-workout, you can also consider sodium tablets like APOHEALTH Salt Tablets which work to maintain sodium levels in the body to enhance exercise performance. Be sure to do your research and speak to a healthcare professional before deciding whether a pre-workout supp or sodium tablets are right for you.
Keep your water intake up: It’s common to not feel thirsty when you’re cold, but cold weather dehydration is still very much a risk, especially during exercise. Keep your water intake up, switching to warm water if it helps you beat the chill, and consider adding flavour with a sliced lemon or boosting vitamins and minerals with something like Berocca, Voost or APOHEALTH Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets.
Wear bright colours: The colder months can be dark and gloomy, with shorter days and less sunlight. Although it’s tempting to dress in dull colours to match the conditions, black or grey clothing can create a safety hazard and make you difficult to spot if you’re exercising outside. Instead consider opting for bright coloured clothing, like a fluorescent jacket or tights that feature reflective stitching. (Plus, dressing in bright colours can even lift your mood by providing a dopamine boost!)
Finding the motivation to keep up with regular workouts can be tough, but taking steps to optimise your routine will help you get the most out of your efforts. With the right preparation in place, you'll be well-equipped to fight off those cold-weather blues and boost your wellbeing, both physically and mentally.