Exercise important to beat winter blues

By Ashlea Witoslawski

As the leaves and temperatures started to drop at the start of winter, I remember thinking there would be no chance the cold weather could ruin my fitness routine.

For some unknown reason, I thought I would be able to defy all odds and make it through with several nights of gym work each week and yoga topping off my positive habits.

However, it wasn’t until I went for a second bowl of pasta the other night after having not been to the gym in about three days that I realised the winter blues had gripped me.

As a way of counteracting the damage of two months of carb loading and no high intensity exercise, I decided to go with an all-or-nothing approach, committing to my first Grit class at the gym.

A 30-minute high-intensity interval training workout, the class incorporates cardio, weights and body weight exercises to blast all major muscle groups.

Having seen extremely physically fit people taking part in Grit, I never thought it would be the type of class for me due to a general lack of fitness coupled with a lack of coordination.

As the music started blasting through the speakers and the other participants quickly removing their jumpers and jackets, it was safe to say I was a little nervous.

Feeling flushed after simply the warm-up track, I knew I was in a bit if trouble. Then the burpees came. I don’t know anyone who enjoys doing burpees, especially when they are coupled with mountain climbers, push-ups and a combination of squats and lunges.

I remember having a thought about the lack of exercise I had taken part in during the winter months, cursing myself for all the time I had spent snuggling up in bed with a snack or two.

As the 30 minutes came to an end and, I finally had a chance to catch my breath and stop the room from spinning, I was excited to get back into it and hopefully shave some kilograms of winter warmth I had stored up in recent times.

Although intimidated, it was great to get that fit feeling back and, although there was no way I could get through the whole routine with 100 percent effort, it was an important step to get moving once more.

I’ve now tackled my second Grit class at the gym and although I’m not considering a career change into the world of personal training, it did feel wonderful to use muscles that hadn’t had a workout in a while.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the pain of leaning down, sitting and getting out of bed for the next couple of days. The pain across the top of my shoulders as I type this is also less than desirable.

Get up and get moving. Your body will thank you, no matter the season.