For a lot of fitness enthusiasts, the winter season can become synonymous with hibernation. Indeed, it’s tricky to stay active when the days grow shorter and the weather colder. The temptation to stay at home and enjoy a cup of hot coffee with a handful of biscuits is high, as many of you know. Who can be blamed? After all, nobody wants to go outside when the weather looks miserable. That’s precisely why a lot of the good and healthy habits that you’ve built over the summer can fall into oblivion as soon as the temperatures drop. The natural need for comfort food and coziness kicks in… and you’re ready to build your winter body!
If that doesn’t sound like the kind of mistake you’re willing to make this year, you need to redouble your efforts. Indeed, you have to be vigilant to remain motivated and stick to your active lifestyle on cold days – you’d be surprised to know how demotivated a handful of clouds can be! But, more importantly, you need to be careful. Staying active isn’t enough to prevent some of the winter’s most common sad/SAD problems.
You stay indoors because it’s too cold
Winter encourages people to spend the majority of their waking hours indoors. Indeed, the combination of cold weather and high-pressure careers makes it difficult to spend time outside. Unfortunately, around 90% of people spend up to 22 hours inside every day, which leaves little room for direct sunlight exposure. Staying active when you’re worried about getting cold happens inside a building too, such as at your local gym. Your mental health, however, requires sunlight to maintain its healthy levels. Training indoors makes you more vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The outdoors environment is changing
Outdoor athletes are the first to claim that once you get used to it, winter isn’t as cold as it seems. Science indicates they are right. Indeed, whether you choose to run, hike, or even parkour outside, your body naturally produces energy that keeps you warm. You might also find that you burn more calories in the process, as your body needs to adjust to external factors – which is unlikely to happen on a treadmill. However, no weatherproof equipment can keep you safe from uneven and changing surfaces. Indeed, the rain, wind, and frost can create slippery grounds, which increases the risk of injuries. If you already favor one side over another or have specific weaknesses, you might want to consider physiotherapy as a way to address the imbalance. You need to be confident in your muscles and agility when you train outdoors.
You take on new hobbies without training
It would be unfair to claim that all winter activities are doomed to happen indoors. The winter holiday season is filled with exciting entertainment, and skiing is, of course, one of them. For countless families, skiing or snowboarding is the preferred winter sport. Unfortunately, injuries are extremely frequent, especially as many enthusiasts fail to practice throughout the year. Staying safe on the snow means listening to your body. Don’t push yourself.
Whether you choose to stay indoors to be active this winter or to embrace the elements outdoors, winter sports are not without risks. Injuries tend to be more frequent on uneven ground. Additionally, ski enthusiasts who don’t keep up their skills throughout the year are more likely to hurt themselves. However, indoors activity is not the solution; you need sunlight to avoid SAD. In short, be careful and listen to your body.