Sunset jogs around the park and rooftop yoga are no more now that the colder months are approaching and we know that finding motivation to exercise outdoors can be hard so our Head Coach Paul has some tips to make your workout a little more pleasant.
Exposure for resilience - if we only venture into the outdoors under optimal conditions and weather we are giving our bodies a false sense of reality. The weather is changeable and the more we expose ourselves to it, within reason and with appropriate scaling, the more adaptable and resilient we become to it and as humans.
Prep the body - before you rush out from the nice warm house straight into the cold for a run or movement session perform a few mobility drills in the areas you suffer with tension and tightness. Spinal waves (see 7) and rotations are great, as are hip, ankle and shoulder mobility drills, all common areas of restriction. This will decrease your chance of injury and done on a regular basis provide you with better range of motion.
Avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder - a lot of us suffer with emotional lows during the winter period, the answer is to get out as often as possible for your much needed SAD suppressor, vitamin D and then vigorous movement on top of this will add a nice endorphin kick into the mix to help you smile more.
Eat clean - Help avoid the flu this winter and opt for foods high in vitamin C which will help boost your immune system. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables by the shovel load would be the best choice as they are low in sugar and also brimming with fibre along with other vitamins and mineral that are amazingly good for us.
Relax in a magnesium salt bath - The best part about training outdoors is getting home and sinking into a nice hot bath to sooth aching muscles and help you relax into a state of pure bliss. Add some magnesium salts to really nourish your muscles.
Regular movement snacks - Winter tends to be the time we sit the most: breakfast, commute, desk, lunch, desk, commute home, dinner, TV, lots of sitting...sound familiar? Add regular and varied movement into your day, especially in the spine and hips which suffer a lot from the seated posture. Do this for at least five minutes, five times a day on top of more formal sessions.
You're as old as your spine - your spine is a masterpiece of engineering but needs regular stimulation and movement for it to maintain its amazing functionality. The 'use or lose it' saying is super relevant with the spine and when we lose the ability to extend, flex, rotate, laterally bend in the spine, it has a very significant impact on our lives. Stand, root your feet to the floor and sway your spine like a tree in all the mentioned plains of movement.
Drink Bone Broth - Take a Flask of bone broth with you wherever you go. Bone broth is full of nutrients and will keep you warm on a evening run or workout session in the park. For vegetarians use 1 tablespoon of veg stock to 250ml of warm water chop up some spring onions and grate carrots and celery into it for a warming quick fix.
Keep your senses about you - Avoid switching off to your environment and enjoy the sounds, smells, tactile sensations that nature's seasons provide us with. Scientific research has shown that heightened awareness and connection to nature has significant psycho-physical benefits which are all more important during the winter months.
Enjoy what it is you're doing - What you choose to do with regards to your form of movement or exercise should be rewarding and enjoyable. If it's not then the chances of quitting are even higher during the winter. Dance, climb, try a martial art, parkour, whatever it is you want to find an enjoyable challenge for it to be sustainable and beneficial.