Ensuring you stay motivated to exercise and eat well during the colder months can be easier said than done. Swapping those summer sunset runs in the park …for the local gym can either be intimidating (brief flashback to a recent encounter entering a gym room consumed by testosterone and dumbbells), overpriced (joining fee, actual fee, locker fee, to name a few …), or let’s face it, down right dull! On top of this, the appeal of that fresh salad served poolside a few months back, isn’t quite so drool-worthy following a packed, sweaty tube ride and your brolly turning inside out in the middle of yet another downpour. However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom in the health and fitness department! We’ve got you covered with a few tips and tricks to help keep you moving thought winter, when all you want to do is snuggle on the sofa and watch Home Alone….
WALK IT OUT
It may sound seriously simple but lacing up your trainers and heading off to work/school on foot is such a simple way to mindlessly burn those extra calories. If you equip your journey with an iPod filled with great tunes, a bottle of H20 and a strong walking pace, you’ll be well on your way to beating those winter exercise blues, and I can guarantee you’ll feel all the better for it after a good dose of fresh air! Let’s face it, walking doesn’t put much strain on the body for the average person and studies show that it can actually do more good than going for a run. And finally, for those of you who say it’s too cold to be outside long…..it only takes a winter coat and a minute or two of brisk walking to warm you up – so no excuses! And if that isn’t enough, walking is totally free!
Somehow a run in the park on a warm summers evening isn’t quite the same when it’s pitch black and bitterly cold in the depths of December. If you feel you need an instructor to keep you motivated, then signing up to a local class will do just that. Enjoying a Zumba session or a body pump blast with a friend or colleague will get your muscles moving in a safe (warm) environment as well as revving up the natural endorphins that come with working out a few times a week – perfect for uplifting our (sometimes less enthusiastic) mood as the nights get chillier and darker.
LOOK THE PART
The drop in temperature has a clever way of creeping up on us as the ‘ember’ months get into full swing, and before we know it, our light-weight tees, airy short shorts and swimming cozzies just aren’t gonna cut it. Nowadays, as the majority of people realise that exercise is actually preeeeetty important and the walk from the couch to the fridge won’t quite do the trick (unless you make that trip thousands of times a day..), the first thing to do is ensure you look the part. It’s easy to fall into the blame game trap of “not having time”, “not having the correct clothing”, or “being too tired.” However ensuring that you have all the gear to make you look like a workout-a-holic will indeed have similar effects on the way you feel about your sweat sesh. It doesn’t have to be expensive either; we sit collectively in wanting the latest Nike Free Runs or the Lululemon leggings but sometimes it just doesn’t seem (financially) worth it if we know we won’t be dripping in them every day. Stores like H&M, Primark and Topshop stock plenty of lower price gym items making it more affordable to indulge in a new piece of winter workout gear at an uncompromising price.
It’s all too easy, on Sunday night, to set yourself the goal of working out three times a week….and then somehow find yourself in exactly the same spot the following Sunday, slightly puzzled as to how you managed to do absolutely…nothing! Taking the time to plan both workouts and meal plans will ensure that they get done. If you know that you have a spinning class on Wednesday at 7, you will almost certainly make it, likewise if you take a portion of soup out the freezer to defrost for dinner, you will undoubtedly ensure it’s eaten as you won’t want it wasted! Planning ahead has the tendency to seem boring, however in the long run, it really is key to staying motivated in Winter.
So, to ensure your motivation to workout is not lost amid the many Christmas festivities, try to incorporate as many of these points in to your daily/weekly routine as possible! Don’t feel that because the nights are long and dark, and the Christmas jumpers are about to flock the streets, that your healthy eating and exercise regime has to completely disappear – just remember, living a fit, healthy life feels incredible!! We’re not asking you to completely ditch the mince pies or run for hours on end in the pitch black, but simply to be mindful of your body and health and use these methods to stay motivated throughout the colder months. Trust us, as you’re future self will be grateful…. after all, didn’t someone say summer bods are created in the winter?