Winter. It is cold, wet, dark and generally unpleasant. It can be a time of sickness and comfort food. A time of rugging up instead of exercising and whilst winter might not necessarily be the easiest time to stay motivated and keep moving towards your goals, there are some great reasons why it is actually the best time of year to start an exercise program.

Mood Improvement

As mentioned in the intro, winter is not the nicest time of year. With the combination of dark days, poor weather and increased illness, there is often the winter blues that need to be contended with as well. In severe circumstances, there can also be SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that is affecting people.

Incorporating exercise into your day will give you routine and structure, which in itself is proven to drastically improve mood and purpose. Along with this, exercise releases chemicals into the body which help de-stress and make you feel good, combined with some outdoor work in the sun (if possible), your mood will naturally improve throughout the workout.

After exercise there are more hormones, which get released (serotonin and dopamine) which help reduce anxiety and sadness by improving well being, behavior and emotion.

All of this happens when we are exercising, not when we are on the couch, so that alone is a fantastic reason to get up and out in the colder months!

Burn More Calories

When it is winter it is colder, and as a result, we are too! Since we are in this cold environment it actually takes more energy for the body to keep the internal temperature at the level required to continue vital functions.

As a result of this, the body will already be working at a higher level to stay warm, throw a workout on top of this and you are getting extra bang for your buck.

Improved Immune System

Winter is a natural time for sickness to be around you, there are countless viruses and illnesses that tend to pop up around the colder months of the year. It is super important that we do everything possible to ensure our health throughout the colder months is of the highest priority, and starting an exercise program can only help that.

Combined with a responsible nutritional intake high in vegetables and vitamins, exercise can help the body transport nutrients in a much more efficient fashion. If the body is working as well as possible throughout the winter months, you will not only have a higher chance of avoiding illness, but if you do get sick, you will put yourself in the best position possible to recover quickly.

Energy Levels Increase

This time of year can be a real drain on the energy levels. Combined with the lack of sunshine, the cold weather and the increased chance of inactivity, it is very easy for the body to respond in kind. Whilst it can feel like a superhuman effort just to get out of bed in the morning when it is dark outside, regular exercise is proven to improve the energy levels.

Studies show that sedentary people who start moving experience a dramatic drop in fatigue. Combine this with the feel-good hormones that are in the body with exercise, and you will be feeling more energetic naturally throughout the colder months.

Ready for Summer

If the above 4 reasons were not enough to highlight the massive benefits that starting an exercise program in winter has, then the fact that summer follows soon after must be the cherry on top.

There is an age old saying in fitness that ‘summer bodies are created in winter’, and it is very true. Making a change to your health and fitness takes time, it takes hard work and it takes commitment. Yes it is hard to do this in winter, but the fact is that if you start this process when it becomes warm again, you will be seeing the results in the middle or towards the end of summer.

Starting an exercise program in winter means that by the time summer does arrive, all that hard work would have paid off. You will be feeling fitter, healthier and be ready to get into the warm weather knowing that you are able to enjoy the fruits of your labor just that little bit more.

Considering the above, exercising in winter sounds pretty good to me!

Over the last 3 years Authentic Personal Training has established itself as a leading health and fitness studio on the Lower North Shore. Its supportive community environment is unrivalled in the area and its fully tailored training programs are designed with individual success in mind.

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