The brisk weather is upon us, but are you prepared to maintain your fitness when it’s freezing outside? Here are six tips that may help get you motivated!
Winter workouts are simply harder to get your head around. With colder temperatures – and comfort-food temptations – keeping everything balanced can prove a big problem for some.
As holistic nutritionist, personal trainer, health coach and creator of Lean Body Formula, Nik Toth, sees it, the best way to winter-proof your workout is to take everything into account - what you put in, as well as what what you output.
Mix It Up Indoors
If winter workouts are proving a challenge, Nik suggests changing up your routine. “Join a new gym or sign up for an indoor activity that involves movement,” she says. “Organise social catch ups around exercise.” Nik recommends a dance class.
Do It Early
Training first thing in the morning is always best because your cortisol levels are the highest at that time. This helps set you up for the rest of the day, Nik explains. “Cortisol is also known to reduce inflammation in the body, so the more we have around the time we exercise, the better.”
Don’t Cut Carbs
"During winter, our bodies crave warming foods, especially carbs,” Nik explains. “When you deprive your body of healthy carbs, it will make you long for the bad ones.” The remedy here is to eat more cooked foods rather than raw, drink hot bone broth, make porridge and bake root vegetable chips. Consuming these healthy carbs also increases serotonin (happy hormone) levels.
It’s crucial to maintain your workout in winter, or you’ll regret it come summer, Nik cautions. “If you let the kilos pile up over winter, it'll take a lot more effort and time to get lean for summer. The more body fat you accumulate, the more leptin hormone you end up with.” That's motivating, right?
Avoid Cloudy Moods
According to Nik, exercising should be a non-negotiable - regardless of the time of the year! Not only is exercise great for your physical health, it's extremely important for your mental wellbeing. "When you exercise all of your body systems function better, as well as improves your mood and concentration," Nik explains. "It boosts serotonin and endorphin production, which are key players in having a happy mood."
Hold yourself accountable! Write out or download a training plan that you can follow and allows for progression, or print a training calendar you can tick off each day, Nik advises. If that fails, find a buddy to keep you motivated.