A Winter Work Out
Don’t let the changing weather mess up your exercise routine. Use winter as a good excuse to change up your work out, try something new, and challenge yourself. We’ve found a range of new indoor exercises to try your hand at, as well as some handy aids to keep you working it in the great outdoors.
Work it Out
We’ve all heard about yoga, an age old Indian practice which uses stretches to promote physical and mental wellbeing. However, what many aren’t aware of is its effect on strength, flexibility, and balance too. As it is such a gentle form of exercise, it’s a great way to wake you up and start your day.
Regular yoga practice is recommended for people with mild to moderate aches and pains, depression and stress. So, once you’ve learnt a few simple postures, you can even use yoga as a way to take a break from the computer screen and stretch out at work. Try to fit in a yoga session once or twice a week to compliment your current exercise routine- whether at home or at a professional class.
If you’re looking for something more challenging, then Pilates combines all the benefits of yoga with a workout you can feel working. Pilates gradually strengthens the entire body, using improved core strength to advance general fitness. This is achieved through a combination of mat work and machines, meaning that Pilates is suitable for people of all levels of ability.
The apparatus is used to either support or provide resistance in training, which helps to improve posture, muscle tone and joint mobility. Professional athletes use Pilates as a supplement to their regular training by developing strength and flexibility across their whole body to reduce the risk of injury.
Find a Pilates class near you from the Pilates Foundation.
Can you Kick it?
Winter gives you an unmissable opportunity to try some of the more overlooked indoor sports like martial arts. Martial arts not only train your body in a unique way but equip you with a skill for life.
Kickboxing is an ideal sport for toning your entire body and increasing your energy levels, which can be a little low during the cold winter months. This workout combines both cardio and resistance training, and thus pushes your body to its limits.
Over time the high intensity activity will improve your blood circulation, keeping your warmer for longer and carrying vital nutrients around your body more efficiently. Other benefits include increased flexibility, balance and coordination, as throwing kicks and punches pulls your muscles into new and testing patterns. And of course, Kickboxing is a brilliant way to relieve stress, anger and anxieties! It’s guaranteed that you’ll be having too much fun to notice your fitness improving.
For more information and to find a qualified teacher, look to the British Kickboxing Council.
If Kickboxing is the fun, cheeky chap of martial arts, then Krav Maga is his pokerfaced big brother. Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art, which is used to train military and special forces. The sport uses very realistic situations to train its students, turning their bodies into weapons which can defend against gun and knife attacks. Because Krav Maga is a non-competitive martial art, you can learn at your own pace as you gradually improve your physical ability through the challenging warm ups and power drills. The training scheme boots your confidence as the moves are easy to learn, and you realise that you are capable of a lot more than you thought.
For more information and to find a qualified teacher, look to the British Krav Maga Association.
Beat the dark evenings this year and keep up your running routine with some brand new gear which, using savvy new tech, will literally made you stand out from the crowd.
New Balance’s beacon running jacket is your new fitness accomplice, this season. The bright red wind and water resistant material is unmissable when jogging on a Sunday afternoon. Come evening, the jacket’s reflective strips give you visibility for roadside running. It is at night when this jacket realises its full potential, as the NB Glow technology makes it glow in the dark. In order to activate this feature, all you need to do is charge the jacket for 10 minutes under direct light before you run, meaning you can head straight out into the wild.
Fashion conscious sportswear designers Sweaty Betty have similarly concocted a faultless running companion for women. The track ready run jacket features a bright patterned panel to turn heads wherever you are, which will keep you cosy underneath with a soft lining and mesh underarm patches. The jacket is finished off with reflective piping which contour the torso for a sleek design. Once you’ve warmed up you can easily fold up the jacket into a convenient bumbag for your phone or bank cards, making this piece just as practical as it is stylish.
How do you plan to keep on top of your fitness level this winter?