It’s tempting to ease off physical activity in the lead up to winter. The mornings get darker, the nights draw in earlier and who wants to be outside when a cold wind whips up? At CSSC we’re here to help keep all those excuses from piling up so that there’s nothing stopping you from maintaining your fitness over the colder months. As the atmosphere outside changes, of course there are some adjustments that you need to make in order to keep your body moving because there are many reasons to overcome the post-summer-slump and stay active and fit over winter.
According to the NHS, “Regular exercise will make you feel more energetic, which should make it a little easier to get out of your warm bed on cold, dark mornings.” Even more importantly, to fight off bugs and sniffles during the colder months, your immune system stays stronger with daily exercise. Besides the general physical benefits of staying fit and active, your mental health will also thank you for it. The NHS adds, “if the shorter days are affecting your mood, being active can improve your sense of wellbeing.” After exercise, the brain releases the feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting a feeling of wellbeing. And while you might not be getting into your bathing suit any time soon, there’s a good chance you’ll indulge in more food (including puddings) over winter and especially Christmas and New Year, so staying in shape will help counteract those extra calories.
Some simple tips to keep fit outdoors over winter:
When it’s cold out, spend a little more time warming up and remember to wear layers.
As it gets darker sooner, stick to well-lit areas and wear bright, reflective clothing and always tell someone your route, and how long you expect to be gone.
Invest in a pair of water-proof trainers and some slip-on traction devices for icy pavements.
According to Runners World, “Keeping feet warm when running in snow/cold is more about circulation than it is about insulation. Thicker socks can be helpful, but only if you have plenty of space in your shoes to accommodate them. More often than not, a thicker sock just cuts down your circulation and actually makes your feet colder.
CSSC schedules lots of sporting and active events this time of year. For water-lovers, there’s Off Shore Sailing taster days throughout September in Hamble, a southern-regional Shore Angling Qualifier on the 11th September and even white-water rafting in Hertfordshire on the 22nd. Indoor Volleyball tournaments at Loughborough University, Men’s Golf Finals at Forest Pines Golf Course near Scunthorpe, Tennis tournament in the Midlands and don’t forget the fun and excitement of the CSSC Games from the 15th- 17th where members can compete in fencing, basketball, badminton, archery and more. For those who like to get active indoors, there’s Bouldering and rock-climbing in Harrow and Durham, squash and badminton taster days in Cardiff and curling in Aberdeen and no excuse to let your fitness wane this winter.