Embrace Movement: Thrive Through Winter and Beyond!

Winter is prime for fitness, combatting SAD and boosting mood, sleep, and energy. Beyond weight loss, exercise prevents diseases, enhances cognitive function, and aids digestion. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly, including cardio and weight training. Seek professional guidance for personalized plans. Act now for a healthier you. Contact for tailored exercise and nutrition programs, with medical clearance. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

Feeling a lack of motivation to get your heart rate up due to cold, rainy days? The weather is an acceptable excuse, if only because winter is the time to warm up your body, prevent a hibernation coat from getting too dense and fuzzy, and so thwart the inevitable Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that so many suffer from this time of year. It is a major depressive episode, a mood disorder, and a type of depression linked to the change of seasons, most commonly the transition from summer to winter, and related to environmental factors, especially reduced sunlight, as the seasons get colder.

Benefits of Exercise

Although many of us might think that we need to lose weight to reap the most benefits of exercise, the short-term advantages should never be overlooked. Exercise can result in a better mood, improved sleep, more energy, better posture, an increase in confidence, better flexibility, better stress management, improved digestion, less pain, an improved ability to focus, an enhanced metabolism, and improved function of vital detox organs.

Long-Term Benefits

On the other hand, the long-term rewards for engaging in regular exercise will be the prevention of the classic futile and expensive diseases of affluence—non-communicable diseases (NCD). These include the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors that may progress to cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is still the number one killer in the world; the prevention of type II diabetes; the reduction in obesity risk; the prevention of fatty liver; the prevention of sarcopenia or the loss of skeletal muscle; the prevention of osteoporosis or the loss of bone mass; and the reduction of the risk for certain kinds of cancer.

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Unless you’re already getting 150 minutes a day, the easy answer is this: any more than you’re doing right now is better. I like 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for the average person, which works out to about 21.43 minutes of moderate activity a day. More is better! But 75 minutes of high-intensity activity per week or a mix of the two intensities, also works. And do weight-training activities too, as strength training is as necessary as cardio.

What is Moderate Aerobic Activity?

You will notice that your heart will pick up speed, you will breathe faster, and you’ll feel warmer. A measure of moderate intensity is if you can talk, but not sing. Examples range from brisk walking to water aerobics to riding your bike to dancing, mowing the lawn and hiking.

What Counts as Vigorous Activity?

Vigorous intensity activity is a much harder, faster way of working: try to say more than a couple of words without stopping for a quick breath, and you’re probably working at a vigorous intensity. Most of the moderate activities can be ‘turbocharged’ to a vigorous intensity by upping your effort levels, and some are vigorous by default. These include running, swimming, cycling, riding fast or on hills, walking upstairs, playing football, rugby, netball, hockey, skipping, and doing aerobics, gymnastics and martial arts. seventy-five minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week has a similar health benefit as 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity.

Remember Not to Overwhelm Yourself

Get into that gym and let us, the professionals (this little lady is a Clinical Nutritionist and Personal Trainer), guide, support, and encourage you to become the best you. Train for you and what you’re capable of, and let us help you create your fitness, but just a little bit at a time. Think less, and do more.

‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’ Chinese proverb

Contact me if you want an exercise and nutrition programme tailored to you.

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