A human can only do so much exercise and sooner or later, coupled with the daily challenges we all face, we need to take some time out from our normal routines and try something different.
Winter is the best time of the year to mix up your routine with some indoor training. We want to stay fit in winter but keep the fitness levels on simmer so that when summer does come along, we are ready to go BIG with a renewed freshness that normally comes with a warmer climate and additional daylight hours
- If you have never used weights before, perhaps now is the time to try. Throw in a basic gym weight routine three times per week. Keep it short – no longer than 30 minutes and include a run at the start as a warm-up method. General all round strength gains will do wonders for your chosen sport when you go back to increasing mileage and intensity in the summer
- Try something different. If you are a runner for example, you may want to mix it up with a little swimming for example that still works the aerobic system but allows the joints to rest a little from the daily rigours that a pounding run set would offer up. Same applies to a cyclist or swimmer – try something different – you still get the fitness benefits from exercising and it gives you something new to try and master.
- As a triathlete, you may want to include a full brick session indoors into your routine on a weekly basis. Summer always seems to be about going long and doing the miles. Winter we can keep it short – run 20 minutes, followed immediately by a 20 minute spin on the bike, finishing off with a 400m swim. This type of short sharp workout if done at a high intensity will give you enough endorphins to last the rest of the week
- Include a weekly stretch routine into the training regime. Stretching takes time and far too often, we are either too lazy to do it or cite lack of time as an excuse. Set aside 1 x 60 minutes per week for this purpose. As we get older, stretching plays a more important role with our general well-being
- Four indoor sessions per week is more than enough to sustain your fitness levels over winter – Perhaps a MON/WED/THUR and SAT routine will keep you in check whilst freeing up some time to either spend with the family or on some other interest you might have but never find the time to involve yourself in during summer. Less training in winter means more training in summer.