Well we had a great introduction to winter yesterday - a brief thunderstorm with hail! Luckily I'd already been for a walk with a friend in the morning - although we nearly got blown off the top of the hill. We've been walking up Kings Hill Rd near Willunga since January this year...and today we got all the way to the top for the first time yay! It's taken us a while due to a dodgy knee on my behalf (I have to be careful with downhill) so I've wanted to build up the strength and stamina in it gradually.
There are three main benefits I've noticed with having a weekly walk with a friend:
Routine - it's got me into a great habit so even if my friend can't come one week I now go anyway. And of course on those mornings like yesterday when it was really windy and I could have easily wimped out, I didn't because I wanted to catch up with my friend.
A goal - now I'm not a big goal-setter but in this case it was good to have something to gradually work towards. We didn't have a date when we needed to get to the top, we just knew we'd get there one day if we kept going. Now that we've got to the top we can gradually go a bit faster - without compromising posture of course!
Body temperature - now that the weather is cooler, I've also noticed another benefit. Most of you know how much of a cold frog I am. When I exercise in the morning it really helps to keep me warmer for a decent part of the day compared to when I don't exercise in the morning. Bonus!
I don't know about you but I can tend to get a bit slack with exercise in the winter due to the weather. Yes I can do pilates and yoga inside but I also really need the cardiovascular exercise and prefer walking over anything else. It's also important for me to get outside as I work inside. So I think having someone to exercise with and having something to work towards can really help in winter. I have a friend who's doing the 1000km in 2021 challenge https://hdor.com/1000-km-challenge/ where you gradually add up your runs - even 5km at a time until you've completed 1000km. I'm sure there are many other similar challenges either in your local community or online. And if you don't need or want to exercise outdoors, winter is a great time to join an indoor class - dance, aerobics, pilates, yoga, boxing, martial arts - whatever appeals to you - maybe there's something you've always wanted to try but have never quite got around to it.
So this is a gentle encouragement, if you're a bit like me and easily let exercise slide in winter - find a friend and/or look for a challenge that will help to motivate you. Then before you know it we'll be in spring and you'll be appreciating the warmer weather after all the work you've done during winter. And remember, that glass of red or hot cuppa tastes even better if you've been out working or exercising in the crisp winter air...I'll let you off in hailstorms though!