If you’re struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed and hit the gym before work or stop off for a sesh when it’s already dark on the way home, you’re not alone. There’s no denying it can be H.A.R.D to workout in winter, but the benefits – like boosting both your mood and metabolism - make persistence worthwhile.
With that in mind, here are six tips that will inspire you to stick with your health and fitness habits till the weather heats up.
1. Find your ‘why’
Before you start, it’s important to connect with the deeper reason and get honest about why you’re training. Quite often, we focus on physical goals such as losing 5kg in eight weeks. While this goal is specific and can be achievable, your ‘why’ exists on an emotional level. To find it, ask yourself: how will losing 5kg make me feel? Will it inspire more self-confidence, closer with my loved ones, happier at the beach, proud of myself for achieving something that feels almost unachievable?
Knowing the ‘why’ behind your end goal will keep you on your path. Keeping your purpose front of mind will motivate you to be persistent with your training and nutrition.
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2. Makeover your thinking
We’re all inclined to set ambitious goals like achieving our ideal physique within a short timeframe. Remember, we are all on our individual health and fitness journey, and no matter where you are, your ambitious mind will most likely never let you think that you are 10/10 no matter how far you’ve come.
Enjoy the process and don’t let the negative thinking creep in. If you eat pizza and unhealthy treats on the weekend, don’t spend the next week punishing yourself by overtraining and undereating. When you hit your goal, you will then set a new goal anyway - so don’t get hung up on only focusing on the goal. Embrace where you’re at now, and reset with new and attainable goals to keep the momentum going.
3. Be prepared
Plan your weekly workout regime with these attainable goals in mind. For example, commit to laying out your workout gear each night before an early morning session, or go for a 20-minute walk in your lunch break (your body needs Vitamin D to help regulate your mood, so a little sunlight can go a long way to feel happier and energetic).
If you’re time poor, breaking down a 60-minute workout into three 20 minute sessions is a smart way to squeeze in training. Use the cold weather to your advantage and incorporate full body movements such as burpees to warm you up.
4. Change it up
Finding the motivation to sweat during winter can be challenging. Keep it fun by trying a new group exercise class or team sport - exercise and socialising in one! Group classes not your thing? Invest in a personal trainer who will keep you accountable to your sessions and fitness goals (and celebrate your wins, of course).
5. Prioritise recovery and hydration
Stretch your muscles indoors to avoid temperature drops and injury. It’s so important to rest and rejuvenate, especially during winter. Instead of opting for black tea or coffee, try herbal teas and warm water. Hydration is essential for recovery, maintaining energy and carrying vitamins through your body.
6. Eat your way to feeling upbeat
Reach for healthy comfort foods to boost your mood. Key ingredients to look for include omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B, and complex carbohydrates such as lentils, quinoa and long-grain brown rice. Stay away from anything processed, as they play havoc with your sugar levels which can lead to overeating and feeling lethargic.
- Opt for oats. Oats are filled with fibre-rich whole grains to steady sugar levels and increase feel-good hormones.
- Toss together a warm salad for a healthy and filling lunch option (roasted pumpkin, beetroot, pear and goat cheese).
- Use soups or bone broth to build your immunity and to pack quality nutrition into your diet.
- Salmon is a great source for omega 3.
- Experiment with seasonal herbs and spices to make your meals more flavourful and comforting.
As the Personal Training Operations Manager at Vision Personal Training Gavin is an industry veteran with over 23 years experience.