Are you struggling to maintain the same exercise routine you had in the warmer months?
With winter well and truly settling in, finding the motivation to put on your runners and get active can be harder than it seems. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s wet – and it’s the time of year where comfort food is much more appealing and your couch and warm blanket are too good of an offer to pass up on.
We all fight the same battles with exercise in the winter months, even if you’re one of the most enthusiastic gym-goers out there! But it certainly doesn’t mean we give up on it completely. There are so many benefits to staying healthy over winter and if you do, you’ll see improvements in not only your physical health, but in your lifestyle, energy levels and overall wellbeing.
Making some simple changes to the way in which you exercise or how you plan for it can make all the difference to kickstarting your winter workout routine.
Here are some of our top tips to help you stay motivated:
Setting yourself a goal or target is one of the easiest ways to get yourself motivated. Whatever your end goal may be, set yourself up with the smaller steps that will get you there and tick each one off week by week.
If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, sign yourself up to an event like a fun run, tough mudder or charity walk. Making a commitment will help step up your efforts to achieve a higher level of fitness.
Sometimes all your need is a little light at the end of the tunnel. When you tick off your little weekly goals, treat yourself with a reward. Whether it be breakfast at your favourite café, a new item of clothing, or some Netflix time, you’ve earnt it! You’ll often find the best reward to be the feeling you get after finishing your workout – nothing beats those post exercise endorphins.
Find A Workout Buddy
Exercising with a friend can make your workout that much more enjoyable. Not only does it provide that social support, comraderie and distraction that is often needed when your motivation levels are low, it will also help to keep you accountable. It’s much more difficult to cancel on a friend than to just decide not to go yourself.
You could also join a running club, walking club or boot camp, or try activities where other people are always involved, such as dance, martial arts or team sports.
Mix Up Your Exercise
Winter can be the perfect time to change up your workout routine and try something new. Maybe it’s a new spin class, pilates, hot yoga, or online HIIT workout – if you’ve been training the same way for a long period of time, why not give something else a go and freshen up your exercise regime.
It might be something as simple as changing the exercises you do in the gym. Speak to a Personal Trainer at the gym or get some inspo from your favourite trainers and switch up your resistance training to ward off any boredom and avoid plateauing.
Have The Right Kit
Although it might seem obvious, ensuring you have the right training gear for the colder months is essential. If you are heading outdoors then you should invest in some good quality winter active wear. Depending on where you live and how cold it gets, we’re talking thermal leggings, gloves, headbands, beanies – the lot! It makes outdoor training much more comfortable and reduces the risk of catching a chill or injuring yourself.
Preparation Is Key
Having a plan in place for when you are going to exercise will help you avoid the urge to skip training when motivation fades.
Packing your workout bag the night before is a great way to plan ahead and removes the excuse of ‘I don’t have my workout clothes, I can’t exercise’. Another way is to book yourself into a class ahead of time, so you feel obliged to go and can mentally prepare yourself.
Workout On Your Lunch Break
If you’re a regular 9-5 worker it can be difficult to exercise when it’s dark in the morning and dark again when you get home. A solution to this is to schedule in a workout on your lunch break, when it’s nice and light outside and the temperature gauge is that bit warmer. It doesn’t always have to be an intense workout either, simply getting out for a brisk walk will help lift both your mood and step count!
Move Your Workouts Indoors
If the weather is stopping you from getting outside and exercising, try moving your sessions indoors. If you still can’t find the motivation to go from your house, to the car, to the gym – why not give an online workout a go in the comfort of your own home. There’s plenty of free workouts on YouTube and social media if you’re just looking for a one off session, or there’s some great programs out there if you are looking to purchase a subscription.