So we’ve made it through another Summer and the colder, shorter days are bearing down on us – although as I write this in the south east of England it is absolutely gorgeous. However this should not lull us into a false sense of weather related security. The fact is Winter is on the way…

Keeping fit during Winter

This means that all those outdoor pursuits you have been enjoying over the last few months might suddenly seem less appealing or many simply not be practical in less kind weather, it could be: cycling, running, hiking, mountaineering, playing golf…anything.  But we must not use colder, darker, wetter days as an excuse to slink back into our holes, only emerging next year, blinking in the Spring sunlight and significantly heavier and flabbier!

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Now is the time to maybe adjust things and move the focus indoors

This can mean a gym, a sports hall or even just your own home.

Gym membership and attendance is highly seasonal, with take up surges very predictable for this kind of reason. Sadly so is the drop off. For example did you realise that the attrition rates suffered by gyms around February/March each year, following the New Year boost, is around 80% of newly signed members? And these are often people who are still paying for the privilege of not attending! But this is a subject in itself and can wait for another day.

The other fact of the matter is that, despite all best intentions, a gym environment doesn’t suit everyone and neither does the notion or practical implications of an hour or more at a time spent exercising in a location that maybe a drive from home. But the fact is that neither of these elements need be a factor at all. You can get your winter workout in at home!

Short but effective exercises make a difference

I’ve said it before but it seems to be the ideal time of year to remind everyone that a little and often really does work!

Regular and short bursts – just 8-10 minutes here and there – can absolutely make a difference. And what’s more, you don’t need equipment, there is no requirement for expanses of space and you really not need more than a few minutes at a time. And I can also assure you, this is not just a theory. I know it works as I’ve used it many times to great effect with clients as well as myself and the proof has been self-evident.

To get you started here are two great exercises you can do at home or work any time. Just a few minutes daily will have a genuine impact on your body and do much more than keep you ticking over while the rain or snow fall outside!

The Wall Sit

This might not look very dynamic but believe me, it targets your bottom, thighs and hamstrings and really hits the spot!

Squat with your back pressed flat against the wall, looking straight ahead with arms folded in front. Legs bent at approximately a 90 degree angle as if sitting on an invisible chair. Feet pointing forward in line with knees, push with your quads into the wall. You will have to find your own level initially, but do what you can and, if you can’t immediately, try and build towards performing two sets of 45 seconds each time.

Kate Staples Wall Sit

Plank Step-Outs

I’m sure you have probably heard of the plank even if you haven’t performed it yet. Well, here is your chance, but I’m going to make a little change. Here is a variant on a plank that targets core and shoulders. Go into a full push-up position with arms extended straight and body in perfect straight alignment from head to toe.

Kate Staples Plank Step Outs

Weight supported on hands and toes. Keeping a straight leg step out to the right about 12-18 inches, tap the floor and bring back to start position. Repeat with other leg. Continue this for 45 seconds. Do two sets. Keeps abs engaged, don’t arch your back and keep eyes on floor and head in line with body.

These are two great exercises, they will reap rewards and you can do these while the kettle is boiling!

Good luck and keep it up!

Read more from Expert Kate Staples. 

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