What are the benefits of a winter workout?
Research has found braving the cold to work out is worth it. A 2019 study in Scientific Reports found two hours of nature-based exercise increases the likelihood of good mental wellbeing while a study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found exercising in cold weather can burn more calories than working out in the warm.
“Working out in also winter ensures we keep and maintain the muscle we’ve worked on in the warmer months which helps to prevent injury and illness,” Corinne says.
“However, the most important one to know is that working out and moving our bodies, particularly in winter helps us to stay connected to our community.”
WATCH: Sam Wood’s running routine for beginners. Article continues after video.
Winter workout tips
1. Stay active with a friend
A workout buddy is a great thing to have if you want some motivation holding a plank or to push you to walk that extra kilometre, but they can also keep you accountable to show up for class.
“Whether you’re meeting up for a walk in the park and a coffee every week or attending an organised group fitness class, having a friend you’re accountable to will keep you inspired to work out well into the cooler months,” she says.
2. Move to music
A 2012 study found that participants who listened to music they deemed “pleasing” had higher levels of serotonin, making music an important motivator for winter workouts – especially as a lack of sun can decrease serotonin. “If you’re feeling sluggish or not quite in the mind frame to move, put on your favourite tunes and watch as your energy shifts. It will make you feel ready and excited to move,” Corinne says.
3. Invest in winter-friendly activewear
It’s time to buy a new puffer jacket, you have Corinne’s blessing!
“If you’re someone who loves to walk, jog or enjoy moving in the outdoors, invest in warm activewear,” she says.
“Not only will it make it easier to get moving, but you’ll feel good too.”
4. Take your workout indoors
While working out in nature is beneficial, Corinne acknowledges getting outdoors isn’t always possible.
“Depending on where you live, sometimes the cool weather can be overwhelming to think about exercising in,” she says.
“Do a trial at your local gym & try indoor group fitness classes or join an online group fitness community so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home.”
5. Do something you actually enjoy
“It’s no secret that the best way to get motivated is to actually enjoy the thing you’re doing,” Corinne says.
Whether you want to trial dancing, cycling or indoor swimming, use the colder months to find out what you really enjoy and to try and master it!
Winter-friendly workout routine
Corinne recommends a combination of strength training, low impact cardiovascular training as well as flexibility and core-based exercise each week:
Monday: Indoor aquarobics class
Tuesday: A walk with a friend
Wednesday: Reformer or mat work Pilates
Thursday: A walk with a friend
Friday: 30–45-minute gym session using the gym machines. You may want to work 1:1 with a Personal Trainer, Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to design the best program for you.
Saturday: Yoga, Reformer or mat work Pilates
Sunday: A walk with a friend