Staying active can sometimes take a back seat in winter and before you know it, you’re back at square one of your body goals. And if you're a jogger, going for your early-morning or late-afternoon run becomes tricky, what with the sun rising later and setting earlier. You risk putting your safety in danger. That said, there are still ways to remain active without compromising your safety or your body goals. Here’s how.
With the sun rising later and setting earlier in winter, nights are longer and the day is shorter, giving you fewer daylight hours. For joggers, if you have the luxury of a flexible schedule, it’ll be easier to shift your jogging times. If not, try these tips:
- Avoid loud music, it can be a distraction and keep you from staying alert.
- Be visible. It is important to ensure drivers and other road users can see you to avoid accidents.
- Don’t run alone. You’re less likely to be an easy target if you’re not on your own.
- Let someone know. Keep your loved ones in the loop when you go for your run.
- Take your phone. Share your live location so that your loved ones know where you are in real time. To do this, use WhatsApp or another app, like Life360.
- Run against traffic so you have a view of oncoming cars and any possible danger headed your way.
- Vary routes and times. Avoid being predictable so that you aren’t an easy target. You never know who’s watching!
Plan your sessions
It helps to know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and when you’ll be doing it, so plan. This way, you can create a routine for your busy days. Write down your goals and plan your workouts around them. Consider slotting your exercise sessions into your calendar so you have a complete view of the day.
This will make it easier for you to stay on track. If you’re feeling slightly demotivated, go back to the drawing board and remind yourself of why you started this journey. This is where writing down those New Year’s resolutions becomes helpful and handy.
Find a support system
Set up a group with your family or friends specifically for your fitness journey. It helps to have people you are accountable to when you’re feeling unmotivated. And it doesn’t have to be all serious talk, you can also share things like workout programmes or healthy winter recipes. Make it fun! It helps to know that you have people backing you on your goals.
Recommended amount of activity
150 minutes of light- to moderate-intensity or 90 minutes of high-intensity workouts per week is recommended. Since you may have busy days filled with work, school runs or home-schooling, take advantage of every opportunity to squeeze in a bit of activity.
Exercise is not limited to having structured workout plans or running routes, there are other ways to get some exercise. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift; if you need to go and buy lunch, walk instead of driving; and park further than usual and get a walk in.
So now that you have an idea of how much exercise you should be getting in, let's talk about activities you can do during the winter season. Remember that the wellbeing of your mind is just as important as that of your body:
- Take brisk walks.
- Go for a jog.
- Explore different hiking trails on weekends.
- Crank up the music and dance.
- Do home workouts on those rainy days.
While fitness and body goals may be at the top of your priorities when it comes to exercising, don’t forget to enjoy it. There’s no doubt that if you do what you love, you’ll be more committed to it. Here’s to fitness and health!