How to make physical activity a part of your daily life

I just stumbled upon this great infographic provided by the World Health Organization. The message is clear: Physical activity should be part of your life no matter of what age you are. Physical activity on a regular basis is one of the most powerful strategies you can do to improve your own physical and mental health.  Furthermore, inactivity is one of the leading causes for deaths worldwide.

It is important to mention and to realize that physical activity is more than sports. This is getting clear with the infographic as well. It includes all activities no matter whether it is playing football, walking the dog, doing some chores in the garden or driving to work by bike.

What a great message and call to action!

Infographic about how to make physical activity to a part of your daily life

Source: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/286753/physical-activity-daily-life.pdf

5 Tips to stay active outdoors even in winter

Slowly but surely, the cold season is creeping through the northern hemisphere. T-shirts are dumped by thick sweaters and long trousers are now a must. Not only do these obfuscation tactics invite you to add a few extra pounds that you cannot see under the thick clotheslines anyway, but the weather also brings ambitious amateurs back into the fight with their inner temptation.

 

Volleyball on the beach, football in the park or just a short jog or swimming in the outdoor pool after work: regular exercise is so much easier in summer than in the dark and cold winter. There you just want to relax on the couch, eat Christmas cookies and enjoy the cosiness of your own four walls. Every winter our fitness and our shape suffer. The following tips will help you come through the winter sportily and make your summer shape a year-long one.

 

1. Maintain good habits

Many people can be tempted by outdoors‘ good weather and mood during summer. Frequently, there are habits, such as regular jogging in the evening or a walk with friends. Habits are enormously important for our movement behaviour. This means that if you have built up a good habit of movement over the summer, you should not give it away at all. Though the cold season really does not invite to outdoor sport, try to stay the course and be active in winter!

 

Even as a real sports lover, I noticed how hard it is to start again when I have not been jogging or practicing yoga for a while. Though it is sometimes hard to keep up, remember what you are doing this for and how good you will feel afterwards. The smallest bit of movement is better than none to keep your good habits alive.

 

2. The right clothes

My mom always said there is no bad weather, just bad clothes! I used to have the eyes twisted annoyingly, though, when I had to walk our dog under the rain and in the cold. Today I agree with her 100%. In order to feel good outdoors during winter, it is important to pack thick enough, but not too thick. Especially during physical activity, one gets warm quickly. Therefore, too warm clothes either lead us to sweat to death or to unnecessarily chop up unnecessary garments on the way.

 

Optimal is functional clothing, which sends moisture to the outside. Reflectors are very advisable during the short days in winter. Additionally, the tried and tested onion method helps create heat buffers and, in an emergency, you can pull out a layer and bind it around the hips. A cap is certainly unconditional, because human body loses most of the heat through the head.

 

3. Warm up is trump

Especially when it is cold outside, you should place great emphasis on a good warm-up. Sprinting directly from the comfortable sofa into the park or to a high intensity workout place in the garden is not a good idea. Thereby serious injuries may affect the tendons, ligaments and muscles. This applies even in warmer temperatures, but in winter it is especially important because temperature differences are of course much greater.

 

Fot being active in winter, it is best to warm up for about three to five minutes before start. The muscles and joints that you need during the next training should be heated up. When walking, this particularly affects the leg muscles. With a few loose jumping jacks and dynamic stretching exercise for hips, calves and thighs one becomes well prepared. Start the workout slowly to reach the operating temperature before you start right through.

 

4. Quickly get reinstalled

In cold temperatures, it is best to avoid staying out after workouts. Even if a conversation with training partners or extensive stretching are appealing to many, this could be a real health killer in winter. After sweating, evaporation leads to a rapid cooling of the body. This makes us particularly vulnerable to colds after training.

 

It is best to shower and put on fresh clothes after you have been active in winter. If this is not immediately possible, you should at least clothe yourself a little bit thicker and quickly go on your way home to be fit for the next training session.

 

5. Shared suffering is half-suffering

Getting up on your own from the comfortably warm bed early in the morning or leaving the cosy sofa in the evening to go jogging is a thousand times more difficult than with when done with a fellow „sufferer“. Be it the partner, the buddy or the friend: get somebody into the boat with whom you can get together in the winter!

 

Social support has been proved in countless studies as a true motivation booster. This means that not only you have someone at your side who beats the drums for you, but also experienced competition can add to your motivation and makes you realise that you have a sport appointment with someone else, which further increases your liability.