Winter Workouts for 2023/24
Many people find their bodies slow down over the winter, whether because of decreased sunlight, a rise in food intake, or something else. We don’t know exactly what causes this seasonal slump, but research has shown that regular exercise improves metabolism and energy levels. Winter workouts are a great way to beat the winter blues and try something different.
Motivating winter workouts for miserable weather
Maintaining your fitness routine can be difficult when it’s cold and grey outside, particularly if icy roads are interrupting your morning run. However, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape and continue reaping the benefits of exercise.
Health experts agree that exercising regularly is important for all aspects of health, including mental health. Adding new activities can help you stay motivated, especially when they’re fun. Anything that raises your heart rate leads to an endorphin rush, improving your mood and focus.
You can even take advantage of the wintry weather to exercise. For example, walking in snow is better exercise than walking normally. Walking through the uneven and unstable surface requires extra effort from your legs and core.
Combating winter blues with exercise
The “winter blues”, also known as seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), pose a serious problem for many people in the winter months. While the causes are still unproven, it is generally thought that lower levels of sunlight in winter affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain which regulates mood, sleep and appetite.
Sufferers of SAD may experience symptoms such as:
- Low mood
- Loss of energy
- Increased stress
Theories suggest this is caused by an increase in melatonin, the sleep hormone, and irregularities in serotonin production, which affects your mood.
Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as running, yoga, strength training or swimming can improve symptoms of SAD. The endorphin boost we get after exercise is extremely effective at increasing feelings of well-being and improving energy levels. This may be why it is sometimes known as the “runner’s high”.
How to stay motivated in the cold
As the days shorten, motivation can wane, but there are many ways to hold yourself accountable and make exercise fun again.
1. Exercise with Friends
By making exercise a social occasion, you are more likely to keep it up. Friends can motivate one another through challenging times, and celebrate together when you reach a milestone. Research suggests that people are less likely to back out of a workout if they are meeting up with friends. Buddy up with a friend or sign up to a local group or class to find a crew.
2. Challenge yourself
A workout challenge can give shape and structure to your exercise plan, such as the NHS Couch to 5K plan which promises anyone can start running today, training for a marathon or a 2-week Crosstraining plan.
JLL Fitness Winter Challenge
Get a headstart on your New Year Fitness Goals with the JLL 12 Days of Fitmas Challenge. This 12-day HIIT workout plan builds up over the days between Christmas and Epiphany, just like the song, The 12 Days of Christmas.
Start small with a 30-second plank and build up to a full-body HIIT workout including weighted squats, chest presses and burpees. Modify by adding AMRAP (as many reps as possible) for a greater challenge.
3. Train At Home
Explore some indoor workout routines you can find online. YouTube is saturated with workout videos, and we’re not talking lycra and pilates either. Crossfit, Yoga, Zumba, weightlifting, you name it: it’s on YouTube. Indoor and outdoor exercise can complement each other. If you’re training for a 5K, you should also be doing strength training, as this builds muscle mass in your legs and strengthens your heart. Your stamina and speed will improve.
4. Vary Your Exercises
Did you know you’re more likely to quit if you do the same exercises every time than if you vary the type between workouts? That’s what the results of a small study in Florida suggest, and our experience bears it out. A varied routine is more enjoyable, more challenging, and more likely to stick. Check out our 15-minute home workouts and 30-minute home workouts to get some inspiration.
Create Your Home Gym With JLL
Working out at home is best when you have the right equipment. You can turn any room into a home gym with a set of weights and a super-compact JLL Folding Treadmill.
Choose equipment that targets your exercise style, such as a standing bike or rowing machine for cardio equipment. You can also find all the exercise accessories you need on our website.