Beat the Winter BluesStaying motivated throughout the winter months can be tough, it's so much easier to get going when the sun is shining and the weather is warmer. Not only does it come down to fitness but you find you will comfort eat too. I know all I want to do in the winter months is gather up my food and hibernate like a bear.
We all know that exercises has amazing benefits especially helping to fight SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) exercise can help to boost feel good endorphins which will elevate your mood and make you happier. So get your butt moving.
Team Macmillan coach Phil Roberton, a fitness & biomechanics expert, says:
Training outdoors requires smart layering. In my younger years I just didn't see the benefit of wearing a hat and gloves when running. Now I'm either more mature or just older, but I really advocate both items. There is no substitute for keeping your extremities warm.
Fuel your training
You always need to fuel your training with good food but during the winter months, I find food can be a good motivator too. Thinking about a wholesome jacket potato or a warming slow cooked stew that's waiting for you after a training sessions can really help to spur you on.
Set a goal
As with anything, you really need to have a goal. Whether your aim is to get in shape for the Christmas party season or staying fit in the new year, signing up to a charity challenge event is a great way to keep motivated. Macmillan has a whole host of challenges from running to cycling and swimming. Signing up for one now via www.macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved will give you something to aim for during cold days and dark nights.
Have a backup plan
Don't let weather be a reason not to exercise or train but do apply common sense when training outdoors. If there is a genuine risk to safety, such as slippery conditions, then don't train outside. Instead, blow the dust off the home gym equipment you've amassed over the years and set up your own circuit. You'll be surprised at what you'll find - a gym ball, medicine ball, skipping rope or possibly a kettle bell could well be lurking in your garage or attic. If you don't have any equipment, then you can improvise by just using your own bodyweight. Bodyweight circuits including squats, lunges, planks and press ups can definitely get your heartrate up and help you get a sweat on.
Join a bootcamp or other group training session
Instead of shying away from cold and muddy conditions, embrace them by joining other likeminded people at an outdoor bootcamp or group exercise session. As well as the sense of comradery, there is something quite powerful about training in these conditions. It's hard to beat the endorphin rush you experience when you complete a tough workout, covered in mud! The group instructors are fantastic motivators and before you know it you'll actually be having fun!
Get a training buddy
If group exercise isn't your thing, then find yourself a friend to train with. It's extremely motivating to train with someone else and also very hard to let someone else down. You might be able to talk yourself out of a workout on a cold day but it's a different conversation when there's a friend relying on you to keep their fitness routine on track too.
There are some really good tips from Phil to take on board.
What motivates you? Please share them in the comments.
Stay blessed & healthy