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​Autumn Fitness : How to stay healthy as the nights draw in

​Autumn Fitness : How to stay healthy as the nights draw in

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It’s getting cold, it’s getting dark, and those evening runs are looking a lot less enticing. But there’s no reason why folks who hate the gym should resign themselves to a winter on the sofa. Here are some ideas and tips for maintaining your fitness and staying healthy over the darker months.

Online workouts

Gone are the days of having to fork out for a DVD in order to get a home workout. The internet is absolutely stuffed with free exercise advice. From guided workouts on Youtube to podcasts which will talk you through exercises, the internet has blown the world of fitness wide open. Have a poke about in the internet - from yoga to HIT, there’s bound to be some home fitness content that’s perfect for you.

Take the opportunity to try something new

If your spring and summer go-tos aren’t feasible for you anymore, why not take the opportunity to try something new? It’s actually good for you to do this - it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut with a fitness routine and there’s evidence that switching up your workout regularly gets better results than doing the same old thing every time. Rather than seeing the season change as a downer for your fitness regime, view it as an opportunity to add new types of exercise to your repertoire.

Investigate your local sports clubs

There’s usually no shortage of sports and exercise groups, even in the most remote and rural of areas. It’s likely that your local community spaces often play host to things like badminton clubs, squash clubs, yoga groups, fitness classes and more. Investigate noticeboards and local online forums to see if anything takes your fancy.

Improve your traction

If you want to continue with outdoor exercise through the autumn and winter, it’s important that you think about how the changing conditions will affect your safety. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Especially on your feet. As the roads get muddier and perhaps icier, make sure that your shoes have plenty of traction to see you safely over the slippery spots.

Stay seen

The nights are drawing in so, if you’re out running along the roads, make sure that you’re visible to drivers and other road users. Hi-vis is safer generally than wearing flashing lights (which can dazzle drivers, and may cause seizures in some), and it doesn’t take much to indicate your presence on a dark street. A headtorch is great for showing you where you’re putting your feet - but be careful to dim it if a car approaches. You don’t want to blind anyone!

See the potential in the indoors

Unless it’s the gym we’re talking about, it’s common to associate ‘indoors’ with ‘sedentary’. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to get fit without braving the elements. The gym is an obvious indoor solution to autumn fitness, but there are also ways to up the intensity of your regular indoor exercise. Run up the stairs rather than walking up them, for example (or even sign up for a tower-running event!) Head to the furthest toilets at work. Walk a bit further for your lunch. Even something like tapping your feet to tunes while at your desk can make a difference. These may seem like tiny changes, but it all adds up to keep your fitness on point during the colder months.

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