Staying active, whatever the weather

The recent heatwave has got us thinking about how we can stay physically active whatever the unpredictable British weather throws at us. We all have at least one type of weather that we let stop us stepping outside and getting active, be it 37-degree sun, spontaneous torrential rain, or the snow in winter. And that’s okay!

Everyone is different and will be affected differently by the weather. The scorching heat this week might have made you want to stay indoors, but just think about all the movement you can do without leaving an air conditioned room! Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, “gardening” the house plants, or just generally moving around your house – it all counts! You could use this opportunity to go out for the day, perhaps somewhere that’s air conditioned, like a shopping centre, museum or art gallery. Or maybe you can’t get enough of this sunshine and you’re loving spending all your time outdoors… the important thing is finding what works the best for you.

Multidimensional physical activity provides the solution to unpredictable weather: choice. There are infinite ways of being physically active, since ALL the activities of everyday life can count. During periods like these where the weather may throw you off your normal routine, there is no need to worry. Each dimension of physical activity has independent benefits to your health, so if you find the weather is affecting your normal routine, start to think about how you could shift your focus. For example, you might focus on non-sedentary time instead of moderate bouts, if you are less able to get outside and do bouts of activity. You could focus on doing more light activity from activities around the house or breaking up those periods of sedentary time as often as you can. After all, regular trips to fill up your water bottle to stay hydrated is a good idea!

If you do want to embrace the sunshine, here are a few tips:

  • You could pick the times of the day where it’s a little cooler. Go for a walk or do some gardening in the morning, or the evening.
  • Mix it up. Do some activities indoors, and some activities outdoors, so you aren’t spending too long in the sun at once.
  • Listen to your body – you know how you’re feeling, pick the things that work for you.

Remember, you might not be able to control the weather, but you can always take control of your physical activity and feel the benefits to your health!