The colder months of winter are notorious for significantly impacting on our motivation levels to keep up our exercise routines. So how do you find inspiration amongst the cold temperatures and the shorter days?
It all boils down to maintaining your mind-set…what gets you up to go to the gym or a run in any other season? Generally that hinges on two factors, your goals (whether that be to lose weight or sustain your fitness levels) and knowing the positive benefits of exercise to your body and mind.
If you are likely to use the cold weather as an excuse not to exercise, these tips will make exercising that tiny little bit easier in winter…
1) Revisit your goals and evaluate your progress.
Winter is the perfect time to revisit your goals especially as it reminds you of exactly why you are exercising, what better way to keep you on track during the chilly days?
Evaluate your progress – are you enjoying your exercise routines and are they helping you achieve your goal? Perhaps it is time to consider swapping or adding in another type of exercise.
2) Train with a family member, friend or partner.
Swap a dinner date for exercise time – not only will going to the gym be a positive social time-out, it will be much better for you both and because you are there together, you are more likely to stay longer than you would on your own.
Rather than opting for a coffee catch-up, try rock-climbing to boost your strength and stamina and for swimmers, just because it is cold doesn’t mean you can’t get a few laps in – head to the nearest heated pool and try an aqua-aerobics class.
3) Be realistic and prepared – expect winter to swing you some setbacks and adjust accordingly.
Love running but it is raining for the next several days – the treadmill is a great way to get the heart rate up and maintain your running fitness.
Our bodies love a sleep-in over the colder months so if you do succumb to a few extra zzzz before work, make a plan to factor in some exercise during your lunch break or after work.
4) Winter is a good time to invest in a personal trainer as you will have a constant companion to keep you motivated and on the path to fitness success.
Be honest with your personal trainer – if you know mornings aren’t going to work for you in winter, don’t book in for sessions that you know you won’t turn up for – instead choose an after business hours work-out.
Use your personal trainer for inspiration – what work-outs do they do in winter, what motivates them to exercise when it is icy outside, work with them to develop your winter work-out plan.
5) Just do it, if you allow yourself to think it is cold, then you will feel the cold – the more time you ponder, the less likely you are to get moving because you have talked yourself out of it.
Know you hate the cold mornings then prepare your exercise clothes the night before and set the alarm.
Remember your goal comes with hard-work, determination and inner strength – once you have gotten out there in the cold for the first time, each time after will always become that little bit easier and give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve to be proud that you got yourself up and moving rather than making excuses.
Christian Cook is the owner/director of ‘Fit4sport NSW ‘ and is the Northern Beaches Campus Director with the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers. Christian has over 12 years of varied experience as a Fitness Professional and successful fitness business owner. He has competed as an international professional surfer and after retiring from the sport in 2000, looked for a career in the fitness industry. He is a highly skilled Personal Trainer who is passionate about realistic training approaches and concentrates on sport specific training. He still is involved in the surfing community by fitness training professional surfers. A team of trainers work out of the Fit4sport facility with varied sporting backgrounds.