Too cold. Too dark. Too damp. Well, at least that’s how you might justify not exercising as winter creeps in. Here are some fun, low intensity ideas to keep fit.
When you’re lacking motivation it’s easy to think of a million different excuses not to exercise.
Especially once the days get shorter and colder.
However, rather than being daunted by the idea of committing to regular exercise, today we’ll look at some of the more enjoyable and low intensity ways you can get your exercise journey back on track.
Health benefits: An often overlooked and underrated exercise strategy, walking briskly for 20-30 minutes a day can assist in maintaining a healthy weight and leads to a reduction in the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, depression, anxiety and premature death, as referenced in an article published on the ABC News website.i
Other benefits: Catch up with friends. Walk the dog. Listen to music or a podcast. Easily track your progress using a phone app or wearable device. Walk to or from work instead of catching public transport.
Spruce it up: Mix it up by walking along different routes or with different people. Also, use it as an opportunity to check out our country’s amazing landscape, such as the Coogee to Bondi walk, the Dove lake Circuit around Cradle Mountain in Tasmania or Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia.
Health benefits: It might be cold and dark outside, but that matters for nought if you’re fortunate enough to live near a heated and/or indoor pool. Swimming is a low impact, aerobic form of exercise that uses almost all major muscles in your body – meaning your entire body stays toned throughout winter.ii
Other benefits: Low impact on your joints means lower chance of injury. Clear your mind with some peaceful ‘me’ time away from technology. Improves flexibility. Fixed location so routine stays the same. No sweat.
Spruce it up: If you really want to get your heart pumping and test yourself on weekends, join an open ocean or ocean pool swimming club.
Health benefits: Cycling is a form of low impact, aerobic exercise that increases your cardio fitness and improves muscle strength and flexibility, as stated on the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel website.iii A study shows that by simply commuting to and from work on a bicycle each day you can almost halve your chances of dying from heart disease and cancer.iv
Other benefits: Low impact on your joints means lower chance of stress-related injuries. Enjoy peaceful ‘me’ time, or cycle with friends. Avoid peak hour stress by cycling to or from work. Cycle along scenic routes on your weekends. When it’s raining, use an exercise bike.
Spruce it up: Every second or third weekend plan a fun cycling day trip with family or friends to a picturesque location. Iconic options could include The Great Ocean Road, The Snowy Mountains or even Rottnest Island.
For those who like to mix it up a bit, there’s literally hundreds of activities you can choose from each week. Here are a few to get you started:
Yoga: Yoga is great for improving your strength, flexibility, mindfulness and helps ease stress. Even if you don’t have time to get to a class three times a week, there’s an increasing number of great online instructors.
Tennis, squash or badminton: Racket sports improve your cardiovascular health, flexibility and strength. All can be played indoors, eliminating the chances of a rain check, and are often very social outings (opponent depending!).
With any exercise comes an element of risk, which is why it’s so important to have an appropriate life insurance policy in place.
Because, while it’s important to invest in your health, if an injury – or something worse – was to occur, then you and your family could struggle to make ends meet while you’re not working.
And the beauty of them is that, just like your new exercise regime, each can be specifically catered to your preferences and needs.