Is Our Fitness Actually Threatened by the Winter Chill?
It is amazing how readily we accept so many beliefs that are eventually exposed as hocus-pocus. Many of these myths centre around adverse effects that the cold is reputed to have on our health and fitness. Among the most persistent is the widely-held misconception that it is the cause of the common cold and flu. In practice, we can attribute the former to contact with rhinoviruses and the latter, to contact with the influenza virus. Furthermore, the peak seasons for colds are spring and autumn.
Have you ever been told that you shouldn’t exercise when it’s cold? Why has nobody explained this to the millions of skiers and snowboarders, or to the officials responsible for the winter Olympics? One of the more dangerous myths, however, is that sunscreen is unnecessary in the winter months. Not only is the sky over Gauteng conspicuously free of cloud cover during winter but, even in overcast areas, the clouds fail to filter out most of the sun’s harmful UV radiation.
Having established that it’s safe to leave the house providing you’ve been anointed with SP50 and that exercising in the cold is actually not a threat to life, this June, July, and August could present the perfect opportunity to explore a new option. Why not take a break in the Drakensberg and try out the slopes at Tiffindell Ski Resort. Should Mother Nature fail to produce her white blanket, the resort’s state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment will ensure you of some healthy action before enjoying the après-ski
It’s quite easy to lose motivation when the cold bites, but finding yourself a workout buddy can be the perfect cure for lethargy. Some light conversation and a bit of friendly competition could help you to stay on track with your fitness programme, and thus to avoid the inevitable consequences of too much comfort food and too little activity. Last but not least, sufficient quality sleep is crucial to fitness, so avoid the blue light from laptops and mobiles for an hour before bedtime, as it can cause shallow, restless sleep.