As it gets colder and we lose more light it is easier and easier to avoid working out. Here are my top tips to keep you motivated through winter.
Have a goal
Working out becomes easier when you can set your mind on something you want to achieve. The goal can be anything. Here some ideas:
- to be able to run a certain distance. e.g. run 5 km without rest by the end of the month
- to be able to lift a certain amount of weight
- to be able to do a certain number of push ups
- to lose cm off your waist. e.g. 1cm this month
- train for an event. e.g. compete in a triathlon in 3 months
- to work out a certain amount of times in a week e.g. 5 times this week
Sometimes it can be helpful to set short, medium and long term goals. A short term goal may be to exercise 5 times in a week. The medium term goal may be to drop a dress size in 1 month and the long term goal being to lose those cm. Progressive goals help you keep your eye on the prize, avoid distraction, temptation and excuses.
Once you reach your goals, enjoy them, your hard work is starting to pay off. By rewarding yourself I don’t necessarily mean to go and splurge on junk food. The occasional cheat meal is one way but there are also others. Buying yourself a nice outfit, one that shows off your new body is always nice.
Find a buddy
Personal trainers are great motivators however they can be expensive. Joining fitness classes can have the same effect for a fraction of the price. Finding a workout buddy is also a great way to increase accountability and commitment. Working out with a friend not only is great socially but they can help motivate you to reach your goals. Having someone else also helps get you into a routine with set days and times. This makes it harder and harder to delay workouts and procrastinate.
Focus on the benefits
It’s easy to make excuses not to exercises, particularly when its 6am in the morning, cold and dark. Regular exercise is great for the body and mind. Here are just a FEW of the benefits:
- Improved mood
- Improved energy levels
- Promotes better sleep
- Reduces stress
- Increases confidence
- Alleviates anxiety
- Prevents cognitive decline
- Weight control
- Combats health conditions and diseases including: stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls (just to name a few).
Winter can be a great time to trial new sports or fitness activities. Some examples are kettle bell training, pilates, yoga or cross fit. When trialling something new it is easy to become fully engaged with the activity and even addicted to your new workout. Changing things up is a great way to trial activities you have always wanted to and avoid boredom with your current workout. Just ensure when changing up your exercise program you get the correct instructions. For some great workouts by our in house specialist Kate, check these out. Part 1, Part 2
Changing your playlist if you listen to music is also a good way to keep things ‘fresh’. Keep in mind the best workout music has between 120-140 beats per minute.
Some good songs include:
“Beat It” (139 BPM), Michael Jackson
“Rock That Body” (125 BPM), Black Eyed Peas
“Push It” (130 BPM), Salt-N-Pepa
Training indoor activities is also a good way of staying out of the cold.