Ex­er­cise... Do you mean ex­tra fries?

Whitsunday Times - - LOOK GOOD FEEL GOOD -

IT’S get­ting colder and we are los­ing the light, which doesn’t help the mo­ti­va­tion lev­els for train­ing over win­ter.

But if you’re tempted to hit the snooze but­ton in the morn­ing, re­mem­ber this – stay­ing mo­ti­vated this win­ter re­quires a change to only one thing: your mind­set.

Sure, the con­di­tions en­cour­age eat­ing more and do­ing less, but the bedrock of mo­ti­va­tion is based on two things.

The first is hav­ing a goal or tar­get to aim for. The sec­ond is the pos­i­tive ef­fects your ac­tions will have on your life.

Train for an event

A short-term goal is just what you need to keep fo­cused and with per­fect tim­ing, the Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val is held next month. Win­ter is the per­fect time for run­ning train­ing, too, be­cause it’s not too hot. Liv­ing in par­adise, your lo­ca­tions are end­less. Hit up the Bi­cen­ten­nial Walk­way and waltz into town or ven­ture out to Can­non­vale Beach. Per­haps take the Shute Har­bour Ma­rina’s steps if you’re af­ter a chal­lenge and when you’re ready there’s al­ways the Great Whit­sun­day Walk.

Set a goal

Not re­ally into run­ning? Set another goal, such as a few ki­los’ weight loss or a 5% re­duc­tion in body fat. Noth­ing is more mo­ti­vat­ing than liv­ing in a place where you can wear a bikini or beach wear 90% of the time. Af­ter all, our sum­mer bod­ies re­flect what we ate in win­ter. Re­mem­ber to take be­fore and af­ter photos and do not judge your re­sults by the scales. If car­dio is not your thing, weights have proven to help turn fat into mus­cle. So put down that cho­co­late bar and pick up the dumb­bell.

Fo­cus on the ben­e­fits

The grav­i­ta­tional pull of the bed is very strong at 6am. That’s why you need to re­mind your­self of the ben­e­fits ex­er­cise brings you; you want to man­age your stress lev­els, have an abun­dance of energy and feel good about your­self rather than fall­ing asleep at your desk, feel­ing over­whelmed and over­weight. So write down on a piece of pa­per what you want to achieve out of ex­er­cise.

Get a trainer

Per­sonal train­ers are mo­ti­va­tion mas­ters, es­pe­cially when you’re see­ing the money be­ing de­ducted from your bank each week. If you can’t af­ford a per­sonal trainer there’s al­way group classes. Break­ing a sweat with oth­ers and hav­ing those jams pump­ing is nat­u­rally mo­ti­vat­ing.

Em­brace weather

Em­brace this lovely cool change; it cer­tainly doesn’t come of­ten in the Whit­sun­days. Did you know that in some coun­tries monks train in any con­di­tions be­cause it builds char­ac­ter? There’s no need to hike the Hi­malayan Moun­tains but a run along the beach will do won­ders for your body and mind too.

Re­ward your­self

When you reach your goal, re­ward your­self. Re­mem­ber to make small goals so you’re al­ways achiev­ing. It’s a win, win sit­u­a­tion. Get­ting to the gym at 6am in the morn­ing is an achieve­ment it­self, the rest is history.

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