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Why it's important to stay active during Winter

Let's face it, most of us start to lose our motivation to exercise when the temperature starts to drop. As the mornings stay darker longer and the air gets colder it's gets harder and harder to drag ourselves out of bed to not just start the day, but to get active and exercise. And if you don't exercise in the morning, and usually wait until the afternoon or night, well it can be just as difficult as its already dark by the time you finish work, and when you get home all you want is a hot soup or meal and your PJ's and slippers.

There are so many benefits to staying active in Winter:

1. EXERCISING KEEPS YOU WARM - Ever thought that the moment you are up and out of bed and moving you are warmer? If you don't warm up straight away, it will make you get your butt into gear and get moving harder and faster to keep warm. Try this next time you jump out of bed:

10 x Squats, 10 x Push ups, 10 Lunges

2. STIMULATES YOUR BRAIN - Being active, and moving will increase your heart rate, which increases your blood flow, which gets the oxygen to all our muscles including our brain. The less our muscles move, the less our brain is stimulated. So starting the day being active will give it the much needed kick start, versus the 2 cups of coffee you have even before you have started your work day. And if you are an afternoon or night time exerciser, think of the benefits of forgetting about the day at work and 'resetting' your brain for home time.

3. MAKES YOU FEEL HAPPY - Can you ever think of a time you were angry or upset after a workout (excluding when you couldn't lift that goal weight on the bar or hit the time on your run). But you can think of many times you were tired, angry, upset, lazy before a workout can't you? Well exercise can release the hormones adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. Basically they are the 'feel good' or 'happy' hormones.

4. KEEPS THE MOMENTUM - If you stop exercising during the Winter months, imagine how much time you dedicated to being healthy and active, but just as importantly how much effort it will be to start again and get back to where you were before you took a 'leave of absence from a healthy lifestyle'. The amount of times I have heard from clients and friends "I wish I didn't take a break" or "Stopping for no real reason has taken me 2 steps back". Hindsight is an amazing thing, but of course we never see it until its behind us.

5. IT'S FUN - Exercising doesn't have to be a chore. If you feel you are dragging yourself to the gym or forcing yourself to complete a session, change it up. Do something different. Whether it be attend a different style of group class or join a team sport, or maybe hire a personal trainer, trying something different could change your perception on exercise and make you take the work "Work" our of "Workout".

So next time you are cold and tired, think the best way to change those feelings is to be active. Turn your negative into a positive and get moving and you will see so much of a difference to how you were feeling, and even looking.

Want a few extra tips:

* Sleep in your exercise clothes - if you really do struggle to pull those blankets off in the hope that you don't get slammed with a blast of cold air, then sleep in your exercise clothes and all you have to do is put on your shoes and socks, brush your teeth and you are out the door

* Remind yourself why you do it - Did you have a goal when you started? What was it? Why are you doing it? Keep reminding yourself why you do what you do, and it will help give you the motivation to keep going.

And lastly, have you ever heard the saying, "Summer Bodies are made in Winter", well I say

Healthy minds and bodies are made all year round!

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