Let’s be real, we all go through slumps with our exercise routines round about this time of the year; the cold makes it harder to go outside and get in your daily exercise! If it was easy, we’d all be leaping out of bed and happily hitting the pavement, high fiving every other runner or fellow gym goer with boundless enthusiasm!
However, for most of us, the thought of getting up early to exercise in dark, cold and wet weather is enough to put off even the most hardcore and can be a big factor in losing motivation. So, I’ve put together a few tips on how you can stay motivated and stay on track this winter; so, when summer comes around you’re ready to show off your summer-ready bod.
Lay your clothes out the night before, or better yet, pop them in the tumble dryer so they’re warm and toasty for you to get dressed into.
Setting your tumble dryer timer to 20 minutes before you get up and laying out your workout kit the night before saves you time and hassle in the mornings. You don’t want to waste time and have to think about ‘what kit to wear’ when you haven’t woken up properly yet and having your clothes warm and ready to go. Getting your kit ready the night before will make it easier to get dressed without having to stand around shivering for a few minutes until your body warms up. I understand not everyone has a tumble dryer, so this isn’t always possible; a great alternative is standing in front of your heater or fireplace while getting dressed. This is a great way to stay warm while getting ready for your workout.
No snooze, Hit the alarm button and get straight up!
Don’t think twice, don’t hesitate, just get up, get dressed and do it! Grab some dates or a small snack on your way out or have and a quick coffee and be out the door, the sooner the better. The longer you sit and think about the cold outside or should I train? Can I cycle after work? or I’ll go to the gym later, then the chances are you won’t! No excuses put your hardcore pants on and think about your end goal (or post workout meal) and what you want to achieve. If you procrastinate, the chances are you’ll more than likely to skip the
workout and tomorrow never comes.
Wear something warm
Wear the appropriate attire and dress warm. Runners should also wear a hat, and maybe even tights under their sweatpants. But be careful to not overheat, ensure you have layers you can remove to keep cool. This also helps the muscles warm up, to reduce risk of injury.
Warm up stiff muscles inside.
Ideally you want to set your alarm 10 minutes before your workout to get in some good stretches in a warm environment to loosen up those stiff muscles before heading outside. This will help to prevent injury during your workout but be sure to stretch and cool down afterwards and keep warm by making sure you have warm clothes to change into, as well as a post workout bath with some Epsom salts to ease any aching muscles.
Find a training partner or join a club
One of the best and easiest ways to stay motivated is to find a training partner. This makes you accountable and less likely to make excuses to ditch your friend and workout. You don’t want to be the one to feel you’ve let your training buddy down or if you prefer, join a club. This is also a great way to keep the enthusiasm going as the fellowship of like-minded people engaging in group exercise is infectious and can lead to a competitive and motivated mind frame.
6.Take it indoors
If the weather really is playing havoc with your motivation, get some new gym attire and, hit training, classes or treadmill runs. This will help keep your training interesting; maybe try something different that you are not use to.
Exercise & Training Apps
No matter what your reason for training may be; a good tool to use is technology, such as a Fitbit or Garmin with GPS and lap counter or an app with calorie counter for those looking to lose weight. These tools are a great way to track your progress, and give you breakdowns such as calories burned, but also to keep you focused on your end goal.
8.Mix it up to keep it interesting.
The old saying, a change is as good as a holiday is true when exercising. Don’t be shy to mix it up! Find something you enjoy doing, whether it’s a class at the or circuit training, you’re more inclined to keep exercising. Similarly, with clothing, old ill-fitting kit will not inspire your workouts, so why not get spoil yourself and get some new training attire. By mixing up your training and adding, tempo, speed and or strength work, your body will respond to the changes and you’ll see results quicker without getting bored.
Change the time you exercise
During the summer months it’s natural to want to exercise early morning or late evening, when the sun is at its coolest. Come the winter, try getting the open air during your lunch hour. You’ll benefit from the fresh air and warmth of the sun that you simply won’t get if you stick with the routine of training early. If you usually train indoors, training after lunch might improve your energy levels for your workout.
You’ve done all that hard training and you deserve a reward! Looking and feeling good within ourselves is also a wonderful reward, now you can by getting new gym attire, having a healthy treat (ie. Sugar-free chocolate)! The little pleasures we enjoy make it even more satisfying when we feel we have earned it so keep up the good work and have that slice of cake once or twice or buy that new piece of kit you’ve been eyeing off! You’ve earned it!