It’s not always easy to be motivated to exercise during winter. But anything from walking to taking part in group fitness can lead to a whole host of health benefits. We get it, a glass of wine in front of Netflix can seem more appealing than a run around the block when it’s dark and cold outside, especially if you feel exhausted.
But we can guarantee if you find that tiny shred of determination to get moving, your body, mind and soul will thank you for it. Here are nine reasons why you should get moving today.
Winter fitness goals: Why you need to get moving
1 Take a walk on the wild side and burn more calories
The benefits of walking are well documented and numerous. However, if you find it boring and aren’t noticing the benefits it may be time to look beyond your local neighbourhood. Walking on uneven surfaces has long been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and forms the roots of reflexology.
Studies from the University of Florida have also found that walking on uneven terrain—the type you’d find on nature trails and bushwalks, deep-sand beaches or other natural surfaces not only provide the regular benefits of walking, it also kicks your heart rate and metabolism up a notch so you burn more calories.
Don’t forget to wrap up warm so take a look at our winter fitness must-haves.
2 If you are genetically prone to obesity studies have shown this is the exercise for you
Findings of a study of more than 18,000 Han Chinese, led by Wan-Yu Lin of the Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, have found that jogging is the best exercise to offset the genetic risk of obesity, 30 minutes three times a week.
Unsure where to start? Check out our top 10 fitness myths and facts.
3 Sleep a whole lot better
According to the National Sleep Foundation as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done on a regular basis.
4 If you’re pregnant it could boost your baby’s health
Recent research by the East Carolina University has shown that women who keep active – exercising three days a week doing a brisk walk, swimming, a ride on a stationary bike or a low-impact aerobics class – during pregnancy have infants with more advanced motor skills.
5 Coregasm – it’s a real thing
Research by Professor Debby Herbenick from Indiana University has found that 1 in 10 women and 1 in 12 men have experienced an exercise-induced orgasm prompted entirely by physical activity of a non-sexual nature. Coregasms are most likely reported when the lower abdominal muscles are exhausted from a strenuous workout.
6 Want to lose weight? Set your alarm
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Kansas recently conducted a study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, to determine the association between exercise timing and weight loss outcomes. They found those who exercised before noon lost more weight than those who performed the same exercises later in the day.
Always on the go? Try our eight healthy eating hacks for busy people.
7 Protect your brain
According to Dr. R. Scott Turner, who directs the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center, so far, exercise is the only thing that has “experimental support” in staving off Alzheimer’s disease.
8 It will make you feel better
Regular exercise programs improve mood and activity level in people with mild to moderate depression reports the RACGP. They advise that any exercise is better than no exercise.
However, more exercise sessions have a greater effect on mood than fewer sessions. Better outcomes are associated with supervised group exercise rather than solo activity and a mixture of resistance and aerobic training has been shown to be more beneficial than aerobic activity only.
Still not sold on the cold? Here’s why you should take your exercise outside this winter.
9 It could help with chronic pain
For many years, the treatment choice for chronic pain included recommendations for rest and inactivity. However, research shows exercise may have specific benefits in reducing the severity of chronic pain, as well as more general benefits associated with improved overall physical and mental health.
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