Keeping your spirit up during winter
As humans, it’s not in our nature to hibernate but sometimes during these cold, winter months, it can take an inordinate amount of effort just to get out of bed! This is the time that requires more motivation to stick to our fitness goals; it’s very easy to swap the gym and juices for the snuggly sofa and hot chocolate, but there are so many reasons to stick to your fitness plans now more than ever.
Let’s look at just why it’s so important to keep up the fitness in these colder months:
Say goodbye to SAD. Seasonal affective disorder can seriously dampen our moods and makes us feel sluggish and lethargic. Kick SAD up the backside by doing just 20 minutes of heart-pumping exercise a day and boost those endorphins to feel happier!
Fight off colds and flu. Colds, flu and general sniffles abound in the cold weather but did you know that exercise boosts your immune system, making you more impervious to bugs? No pills needed!
Be immune to the effects of comfort food. We’re humans and we crave stodgy, warming comfort foods in these cold months to give us extra energy to keep warm. However, comfort food can weigh us down; keep yourself from gaining a casserole-belly by regularly exercising.
Get in shape now for Christmas! Yes it’s a loooong way off but why put pressure on yourself in a couple of months’ time when with a bit of effort now, you can be ready for the LBD all year round.
Boost your blood flow. A nice warming glass of red wine is a popular way to wind down after work, so help your liver to cope by doing just 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day, boosting blood flow to the liver and helping it get rid of waste. However, I know that it can be difficult to stay on track and motivated, even when you know the serious benefits that can be had.
I’ve put together my go-to list of how to stay motivated when all around you are opting for the duvet!
Set yourself a challenge – whether it’s a 5km run or a marathon, we all work better when we have a fixed goal in mind.
Try something new and exciting! Not tried bikram yoga or zumba before? Now’s a great time to try a new sport that gets you warm and is fun.
Work out together – get your friends together and turn your fitness into a more social event, that way you’ll be more likely to go! You could join together to get a personal trainer or all put in some money for a prize for who sees the best results!
Treat yourself – not motivated to go running in this weather? Buy yourself a new pair of bright trainers or some pretty summer-print leggings (like our BodyRock pants) to create your own summer!
Stay positive – raining outside? Look at it as a chance to be exhilarated! Run against the elements with your power playlist on and you will feel amazing!
Work with the seasons – why not try your hand at a winter sport like skiing or snowboarding, or even ice skating? Don’t fight it, embrace the seasons for what they are – the chance to change your workout every few months.
Keep focused on goals – just as challenges work for us, so do goals. Set yourself a personal goal, whether it’s to drop an inch around the waist, lose 5lb, run 5km in under a certain time or whatever. Just make sure it’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Related.
Reflect – an exercise diary complete with how you felt before and after your workout will help you to remember the positive side of exercising. Reading about how amazing you felt will help you muster up the energy again.
Use what you have – trying to save money or can’t face the outdoors? There are some incredible workouts at home that will bring serious results, check out Insanity or Tracey Anderson for some great, equipment-free workouts.
Still can’t motivate yourself? Here are four top tips that are fail-proof:
- Check into the gym on Foursquare or Facebook before you get there. I defy you to back out now!
- Listen to your go-to song. We all have that one song that boosts us through our workout. Whether you’re into rock, house or classical, put that song on and get going!
- Promise yourself that if you’re not enjoying it after 5 minutes you can leave. We all know that we never leave; after five minutes we’re feeling the benefits and our mood’s been boosted!
- Visualise yourself post-workout. Feel how exhilarated you feel and how proud of yourself you are. All athletes envisage their success, be a success too. I hope you’ve found my blog on staying motivated during winter helpful. As usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, and whether you have any fail proof suggestions for motivating yourself to exercise during the cold months.
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