While it may be far more tempting to sleep in on chilly mornings or head straight home to your heater after work, exercising in winter doesn’t have to be a chore — the key is mixing up your routine to keep things interesting.
We asked five Perth trainers to reveal their top picks for fun, fresh — and weatherproof — ideas to get you off the couch and into a killer winter workout routine.
1. Altitude training
For those who want to take their training to the next level during the colder months, check out altitude training.
Tracey McVeigh, owner of Alti2ude gym in Myaree, says altitude training can help with weight loss as well as with helping prepare for mountain climbing or running a marathon.
It involves exercising in a sealed room which creates artificial hypoxia, a reduced oxygen condition, where the body must work harder to undertake any kind of activity.
Training at altitude boosts your aerobic capacity and accelerates your fitness development, meaning the time you spend training is more effective.
The simulated conditions in Alti2ude’s specialised altitude room is higher than any naturally occurring height in Australia.
The standard setting is set at 3500m, whereas Australia’s highest point — the peak of Mt Kosciuszko in New South Wales — is 2228m.
“It does require dedication — we recommend that you need at least three 30-minute sessions each week for four weeks to see the results — but the results are excellent,” McVeigh says.
2. Reformer pilates
Want to transform your body from the inside out?
Offering all the benefits of Pilates but using spring-loaded machines rather than mats for high-intensity resistance training, reformer Pilates is a great way to keep fit in winter.
Olivia Stell and Phoebe Woodhead, pictured on our cover, opened boutique Pilates studio Heartbeat High last year, combining the principles of Joseph Pilates with a vibrant, fun-filled vibe that is a fresh alternative to more clinical studios.
The CBD space offers both reformer and free-form classes alongside signature Bump n Grind and Sweat City workouts.
“Olivia and I both saw that Pilates was done in a clinical setting and a lot of the studios were quite sterile,” Woodhead says.
“We wanted to offer our members a one-stop-shop where they can do something slower and more controlled or get their heart rate up with something faster-paced,” Stell adds.
While many people get into Pilates because they have an injury or for rehabilitation purposes, Woodhead says the benefits are wide-ranging.
“It not only targets your global muscles but also your intrinsic muscles to give you well-balanced muscle tone,” she says.
“It really focuses on posture and corrects existing issues. It’s a full-body workout.”
3. The Warrior Pursuit
One of the best ways to achieve any fitness goal is to work out with a personal trainer who will fast-track your results, reduce the chances of injury, overcome training plateaus and training boredom, and keep you accountable.
The Warrior Pursuit run out of Surge Fitness Kings Square delivers classes in a small-group training format (capped at between four and six participants) so participants reap the benefits of getting the attention of a personal trainer but with the additional “secret sauce” of training with a group of like-minded individuals.
“The entire week’s training program is laid out for you comprised of two strength-training classes and two high-intensity cardio training sessions so all you need to do is turn up, as all the thinking has been done for you,” Viresh Naik, a personal trainer and fitness manager of Surge Fitness Perth CBD, says.
“And as an added bonus, no two workouts are the same so ‘I’m bored’ is no longer a valid excuse not to train.”
4. Bikram yoga
Sick of the winter chill? Try a Bikram yoga class, recommends personal trainer Nicole Ellis. “The rooms are so hot and humid, your muscles warm up within minutes,” she says.
Designed to make you sweat, Bikram is a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises practised in a room heated to 32-42C.
“You are guaranteed to work up a sweat in these classes and they cater for all levels of physical fitness,” Ellis says, adding that it’s also great for improving mood and reducing tension and stress.
5. Living Longer Living Stronger
Aimed for people aged over 50, the Living Longer Living Stronger program is ideal for those who wish to increase functional strength and general wellbeing in a safe environment.
Rockingham Transformations head trainer Revel Loughlin says as motivation and consistency tend to dwindle in cooler months, it’s a perfect time to seek out a program that will warm you up effectively, and gradually move you into the exercise.
He says LLLS does exactly that.
Run by COTA for Older Australians, the evidence-based progressive strength training and exercise program offers sessions in approved facilities by expert trainers.
With physical activity becoming increasingly important as we age, LLLS has been proven to improve functional strength, cognitive function and a range of health conditions including arthritis and type 2 diabetes.