As the leaves start to fall and Christmas chocolates appear on supermarket shelves, you might have started to notice the days getting shorter as the sun starts to slink away before another winter sets in...
It can be tempting to start getting out the blankets and toastie maker, ready to hibernate until next spring – but autumn is also a great time to put in healthy habits that will see you through the cold, wet days.
Staying active will keep you healthier through the colder months, which could help you fight off colds – and keep you fighting fit, ready for when the warmer weather comes back around and you want to go on long walks to soak up the sun.
Anyone can go for a walk when the weather’s nice – but exercising can be more difficult throughout autumn and winter. So here are some dos and don’ts on how to stay active indoors when you’re in a smaller space...
Don’t sit down You don’t need to be power walking to be doing something good for your body. Spend the colder months working on your core strength and balance by making little changes to your daily habits. For example, the less time you spend sitting down, the better. If you’re doing something at floor level, for example, try squatting, rather than sitting. And when you are standing up – try balancing on one leg – as long as you’re not ironing at the same time
Don’t stay still Stay active - whether it’s squats while you wait for the kettle to boil, lunges while brushing your teeth, or maybe some star jumps while the ads are on. There are plenty of easy ways to keep moving on those days when the weather isn’t going your way.
Do a spring clean – in autumn Who says you need to wait until Easter to clear out the kitchen cabinets? Autumn is the perfect time to do a big clean and clear out of your caravan. That way, everything is done and dusted (literally) come the warm, spring days. Cleaning and organising are great ways to build up a sweat and get your pulse racing.
Do get a mat If you’re looking to continue exercising into the colder months, it might be worth investing in a yoga mat. They’re perfect for small spaces, as all your yoga moves will be contained to the mat. Similarly, yoga mats are also great for other exercises, too, such as Pilates.
Whether you’re a total beginner, or you’ve racked up a bit of experience in the past, there’s an abundance of free yoga and Pilates videos online to guide you through your workout. If you don’t want anything too strenuous, a simple, five-minute stretch will be hugely beneficial during those cold, cosy days on the sofa.
And if that’s not exciting enough – there are plenty of dance tutorials online, too – whatever your preferred type. Some might not be the easiest to do in small spaces, but you can always adapt them to the space you’re in.
Do consider adding weights to your routine If a simple yoga or Pilates session doesn’t feel like enough of a challenge, you can add small weights to your routine. And if you’d prefer to not spend money on buying weights, have a look in your kitchen for big bottles of water (nothing fizzy!) or tins of beans – anything that’s easy enough to get a steady grip on will do just fine.
Similarly, resistance bands are another great tool to see you through the winter. You can use them with simple exercises, are they’re relatively affordable and easy to find online.
Do consider braving the outdoors – once in a while No matter how good you are at finding ways to exercise in your caravan, it’s always a good idea to get regular fresh air and nature. If you’re feeling brave enough to exercise outdoors during the wetter, gloomier autumn days, make sure you stay safe. If there’s a chance of it getting dark while you’re out, make sure to take your phone, and wear something bright. Ideally, take a friend or family member with you, too.
Do mix it up
When it comes to exercise, variety is your best friend. Not only are you more likely to stay motivated if you’re keeping things fresh, but doing different exercising will also work different muscle groups. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an exercise routine. Or if you want to stick to the same exercise, it could be as simple as mixing up your outfit or post-workout snack.
Do team up Share your fitness goals with your partner, or a family member or friend who’s also trying to stay active during the colder months. Whether that’s sharing your steps at the end of the day, or swapping healthy, energy-boosting recipes to complement your exercise
Don’t go quietly If you don’t fancy following a workout video online, consider having some upbeat music to act as your sidekick. You’ll be surprised how much it’ll spur you on, compared to silence.
Stay active - whether it’s squats while you wait for the kettle to boil, lunges while brushing your teeth, or maybe some star jumps while the ads are on