Switching your exercise routine from summer to winter

Woman running in snow

As the colder winter weather starts to rear its head and the nights draw in, although we can enjoy the festive feeling of a chill in the air, cosy nights in and the changing leaves, it does mean we may need to adapt how we exercise.

This is especially true as another lockdown is imposed across England and people are unable to visit gyms or fitness classes, organised sports and groups may shut down, and our lives once more become more sheltered.

In this article, we offer tips on how to most efficiently switch your exercise routine from a summer special into a winter triumph. Read on to find out more.

Upgrade your fitness attire

The first step for anyone who relies more on outdoor workouts is to ensure that you have the right attire. In the summer, a light tank top and shorts may be optimal, but in the winter month layers are the name of the game and can make all the difference in getting you up and about. Although you are likely to heat up whilst working out, making sure that you won’t get too cold is essential and can make sure your performance doesn’t lack.

This can mean investing in gloves, waterproof shoes for rainy days, a light raincoat and even a hat to keep in the heat. It may feel like an investment to have all of these things to hand, but making sure you are warm, comfortable and confident in what you go out in is important for putting you into the right mental space.

Getting ready to exercise

Pre-plan your exercise regime

Britain is famous for its ever-changing and often gloomy weather, and planning around this is even more essential in the winter months as one day we can enjoy a clear sunny day and the next a hailstorm. Although it can be preferable to have a set regime when it comes to exercise, when the weather is more likely to be less than favourable, being able to be flexible can allow you to make the most of the good days and avoid the bad.

Equally, with the holidays approaching you might find yourself busier with social events (Zoom quizzes we are looking at you) or even just personal hobbies that you’d like to enjoy like baking Christmas goodies or making gifts.

This is why it can be great to plan your week routines every Sunday night ready for the following week. By checking your personal calendar for plans and also keeping an eye on the weather report, you can lay your week out in the most efficient way possible for you.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to go off-script if one day you just aren’t feeling it or an unexpected storm rolls in. Becky from The Lifestyle Blogger UK explains:

“Focus on what you're doing. Not what the weather is doing. If it’s cold, dark and raining and you just don't fancy going out for a run, switch up the exercise if you can. Maybe do an indoor workout instead. Or accept that it’s going to be cold, but just get it done. The quicker you do it, the quicker it’s finished! Personally, I find running in the rain really exhilarating and so much more rewarding because you've pushed yourself and made yourself do it. Remember why you're exercising and think of the bigger picture; whether that's weight loss, general fitness, etc.”

Explore at-home options

As well as colder weather and shorter days, the UK is facing lockdown restrictions due to the on-going pandemic, so making sure you have a solid at-home workout option is essential. With gyms closing and fitness classes moving online once more, having the facilities in your home to allow you to exercise doesn’t have to break the bank and even a few tins of baked beans can work as some free weights to get you through.

Alternatively, why not use this as an opportunity to add another workout to your arsenal? In recent years yoga and Pilates workouts have become increasingly popular thanks to their effects on both physical and mental health and they are ideally suited to be done at home. They are not a joke either, as many professional athletes now use them to work on tone, stretch out their body and relax their minds.

LEARN MORE: Easy yoga and Pilates workouts to do at home

Woman sweating

Work towards maintaining, not improving

For those who are deep into a fitness routine that aims to gradually harden, it can be tempting to continue trying to push your body to the max over the winter period, however, there is an argument against that. With colder weather and shorter days, it’s only natural that exercising during the winter months can be much harder to be enthusiastic about and it becomes much easier to get off track.

Instead of trying to improve during this time, it can be just as admirable to aim to simply maintain your progress. If the colder period is a time you worry about whether you’ll be able to get as many runs in, or whether you’d rather spend the night watching Netflix than doing a HIIT workout, then just ensuring you stick to your current routine rather than ramping it up can be a wise approach.

By maintaining, it’s easier to slot exercise into your routine without piling on the pressure. The team at Fitness Focus explain: “Make exercise part of your daily routine; the same as you do brushing your teeth in the morning, or going to work at a certain time. If you make working out part of your daily life, you won't have to think about it, you'll just do it. The more you do it, the more natural it will feel, and it won't seem like such a big effort."

Useful tips for switching up your exercise routine for the winter:

- Upgrade your fitness attire

- Pre-plan your exercise regime

- Explore at-home options

- Work towards maintaining, not improving

At Titanic Spa, our spa days in Yorkshire can be the perfect antidote to the winter blues and help rejuvenate your body ready for anything.

For more wellness tips and advice, make sure to visit our blog.