As winter drags on it's harder to keep motivated with your health and fitness routine. Sam Wood has seven simple steps to help you keep up your exercise mojo.
Let’s be honest, winter isn’t the most popular season when it comes to working out. It’s cold, dark and sometimes rainy but while the elements may be out of your control, whether they hold you back or not is entirely up to you. There are some simple ways to combat the cold and stay on top of your training and nutrition so I’ve put together a list of tips to help spike your motivation when the temperature drops.
1. Get a buddy
Fitness friends, boxing buddies, workout wingman. Whatever you want to call them, having someone to keep you accountable is a great way to keep your health in check. Knowing someone else is getting up to work out with you makes you way more likely to jump out of bed as opposed to snooze the alarm. This saying is an oldie but a goodie: teamwork truly makes the dream work!
2. Set a goal and keep it in sight
Whether it’s to lose a couple of kilos, participate in a fun run or beat your squat PB- goals are great motivators. Having something to work towards makes you way more likely to keep going when you’re feeling a bit “blah”. Write it on the fridge, keep it in the notes on your iPhone or on a sticky note on your desk. Out of sight = out of mind, so keep it visible.
3. Update your training kit
You’re going to hate running in the freezing cold if you’re still wearing that singlet you bought in December. Invest in some good quality winter activewear to make training outdoors way more comfortable. Even if you’re an indoor exerciser, new activewear can also help with motivation. Why would you want your new workout gear to sit in your closet when you could be showing it off in the gym?
4. Put your alarm out of reach and be prepared
Have your workout gear out and ready to go and keep your alarm on the other side of the room. Once you’re up, you’re up. Getting it done first thing in the morning feels so much better when the working day is over and you can head straight home to curl up on the couch.
5. Sign up for an event
Signing up for an event is a great way to ensure you stick to your training schedule. I was recently an ambassador for the Noosa Marathon and even though steady state cardio isn’t really my thing, knowing I had an event to train for was a great way to keep me motivated and ensured I stayed active. I definitely recommend committing to an event that falls either during or at the end of Winter so you have something to work towards. Better yet- tell someone you’re doing it, that way you really have to go through with it!
6. Treat yo’self
Stop looking at the end goal! It’s so easy to lose yourself in the end goal and forget to celebrate all of the progress you’re making along the way. Just because you’re training for a marathon doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the PB at your local park run on the weekend. The key thing here is to ensure your treats help you towards your goals, not take you backwards. Think massages, activewear, a trip to the movies… anything that makes you feel good and keeps you on track.
7. Change your routine
I truly believe that variety is the spice of life. Sometimes a bit of change is all you need to reignite that motivation flame. Try a new workout or mix up your usual routine and you might be pleasantly surprised at what that can do for your enthusiasm towards training.
When motivation disappears, the commitment needs to remain. Sometimes you just have to accept that it’s not easy and do it anyway. You know you’re not going to be happy all the time, so don’t expect to be motivated all the time either. Stick to your routine, keep the positive momentum going and you’ll inevitably form good habits. Once you’ve done this, at least when you’re not motivated, you’ll be disciplined.