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Autumn is on the doorstep whether we like it or not, providing us with the perfect excuse to order a pizza and wrap ourselves in our duvet whilst we fight off the Highveld chills. Although this does sound tempting, the winter months also allow us an opportunity to stay ahead of the pack and keep fit and healthy.

Remember fighting for a parking spot at the gym and queuing for a treadmill in January? Well, now the opposite is true as many decide to head home after work or sleep in late in the morning. The gyms have quietened down. This could be the perfect time to try a new exercise that you could not get to previously. It also prevents that feeling of guilt once spring rolls around and we wonder if the scale has broken thanks to inactivity and comfort food indulgence.

So to keep up your motivation, here are our 7 Winter Training Tips:

  1. Don’t forget to warm up. Yes, you may be forgiven for not warming up during a heat wave but in winter the muscles and joints are even more cold than usual. So do not skip your warm up. It only takes 10 minutes on a treadmill, bicycle or rowing machine.
  1. Don’t cool down too quickly, remember to keep warm after you exercise, and stretch.
  1. If you feel uncomfortable or experiencing any unusual pain, stop. Don’t push yourself unnecessarily.
  1. Dress appropriately; there are tons of great winter gear available. Keep your body warm but don’t overdo it. A set of First Ascent thermal base layers should suffice.
  1. Stay motivated, and set yourself realistic goals and rewards. Allow yourself that pizza upon completion of your weekly workout plan. Update your iPod with some new music, buy some winter workout gear. It may be cold but we have lots of sunshine in South Africa and beautiful scenery. Make the most of it.
  1. Match your nutrition to your workouts. Winter is a great time to make a piping hot soup filled with nutrients.
  1. If you are running or cycling on public roads, remember to be visible. Carry a light with you and wear reflective gear. Remember our daylight hours are fewer in winter which means a lot of us will have to train in the dark after or before work. Always be aware of your surroundings.


For more information contact the IE Group, Body and Lifestyle Coach, Ewen Cameron: 011 781 1444

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