Exercising in winter: Why metabolic workouts may be the answer
It’s official, with the clocks turned back and the autumn leaves starting to disappear – winter is upon us. Like many people, I’m always quite affected by the winter months. The darker mornings and nights and chilly weather seems to sap motivation and many of us feel unsafe or just too cold to commit to exercise outside.
But the reality is, it’s so important to exercise consistently throughout the seasons – especially when the easy feel-good vitamins like Vitamin D are in short supply. But maintaining energy, staying productive and keeping your mind and body healthy are key during the winter – and as movement is medicine, regular workouts are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to give your body the best fighting chance this winter. Not to mention, if you’ve worked hard all summer and maintain your fitness schedule – it would be a shame to lose that sense of routine and commitment just because the sun sets earlier.
Still, finding the time, energy and motivation to squeeze a workout in and around the run-up to the festive season or post-Christmas when we all like to hunker down – can be tough. This is where I like to up the ante on my metabolic workouts – a fast, effective and brilliant option for getting that heart rate up, challenging the mind and muscles and being efficient with your workout schedule.
What is a metabolic workout? Do they work?
I have been training clients for over three decades now – using the metabolic workout system.
A metabolic workout will vary depending on the person. In a sense, it’s similar to HIIT training. With metabolic training, you are taking your body out of its comfort zone, you are increasing the intensity of your workout so that it has to repair and recover afterwards therefore using its own energy (calories) to be able to return the body back to its natural state.
These types of workouts can be very effective for burning fat, increasing your metabolism, keeping muscle mass and building endurance. Unlike longer workouts, these workouts will be beneficial for maintaining muscle too.
By stressing the body in these short powerful bursts of high-intensity and with compound movements, the body will then repair and recover itself by using energy from within its system, post-workout. This process of recovery will ramp up your metabolism as more muscles are activated and more oxygen is needed and body fat is then used in the recovery process.
Do you need to do other workouts too?
As with all workouts …variety is key. Your body can become habitual - so mixing up how you move is very important. Metabolic workouts are meant to be hard and challenging – which is great because it means you shouldn’t do this every day – so you only have to factor in about 2/3 of these sessions a week to see a real difference. Try to include other complementary exercises alongside this – like one of my ballet-inspired workshops or maybe a stretch session to give your muscles an active recovery.
Good nutrition is also essential when training at this high intensity, so the body recovers well and has enough energy for the remainder of the day.
How to start:
First things first, be sure you are ready to push your intensity.
If you are not ready… start with a few of my 30 min technique sessions on the app first, as these are slower and designed to help build your muscular endurance first. Some of the technique sessions also allow you to use weights / bands to build your stamina and endurance for a little extra challenge.
Do your first week like this then throw in your first HIIT session… maybe without the weights to begin with. You can also modify the planks and maybe do a few less reps to begin with.
A cautionary note:
Not all clients should train this way, it’s very individual.
Someone with a health condition, for example – needs to get their doctors advice before doing anything of this intensity.
It’s important to remember, we are all different shapes and sizes and have different levels of energy that we can output, so this is going to be a different experience for everyone. If you’re unsure – please drop me a message in the community page or email / DM me and I can give you a personal recommendation on your level of intensity over time to improve your fitness and gain the metabolic benefits of this workout.
At Home, At Work, In The Gym – wherever its warm!
The best bit about joining my Eastwood Fit community – is that you can do these workouts whenever and wherever suits you. Whether that’s grabbing a quick 30-minute session before the rest of the household wakes up or finding a quiet corner in your local gym after work… by committing yourself to even a short workout – we are beating those winter blues! Flooding our body with endorphins and energy!
And if an on-demand metabolic workout isn’t right for you, that’s ok. Join me LIVE! I do weekly LIVE sessions at 8.30am on the Eastwood Fit app and am happy to chat about all the dos and don’ts of winter exercise with you all there.
Look forward to seeing you all on the mat!