Stay fit and beat winter blues
WINTER is not a season that encourages exercise but it’s still important to maintain a healthy attitude.
Queensland Government chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said winter’s cold weather should not mean giving up on exercise and making unhealthy food choices.
“It is harder to get motivated when it is cold outside but the extra effort is well worth it. Exercise not only improves your health but also your mood,” Dr Young said.
“Adults should aim to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise nearly every day to maintain good health. Pounding away at a treadmill is not everyone’s cup of tea – but a fun activity will have you going back for more.”
Dr Young suggested trying a range of different activities to find one you enjoyed.
“You could try dancing, cycling, walking, football, soccer, netball, fitness classes, weight training, jogging or gardening,” she said. “Increasing activity levels is the first step in preventing winter weight gain.”
Sian McDonagn, from Sians Zumba Classes on the Gold Coast, said joining a fun exercise craze was the key to surviving the winter months.
“Zumba is a great idea at any time of the year because it’s indoor and is so much fun that it does not feel like exercise,” Ms McDonagn said.
“People do stop exercising when it gets cold but an exercise like Zumba is kind of the exception. Our numbers have picked up this winter, which is just unheard of for anyone who runs a gym or anything.
“People taking our classes are still exercising during the colder months and staying healthy.”
Ms McDonagn said it may be hard to exercise in winter but the results were worth it.
“Being active definitely decreases your appetite and it gives you more energy,” she said.
“You crave healthy food when you exercise.”
HOW TO KEEP FIT
- Winter days are shorter so try an indoor fitness class if you cannot take your regular run or walk.
- Carry healthy snacks with you so you are not tempted to warm up with junk food like hot chips.
- Instead of getting under a blanket, take a run to warm up.