Beat­ing the win­ter ex­er­cise blues

A fit­ness pro­gramme can be dif­fi­cult to main­tain dur­ing the win­ter

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Apre-break­fast run in the mid­dle of win­ter is the last thing many of us feel like do­ing.

A pump class at the end of a long day is equally un­ap­peal­ing and keep­ing ac­tive dur­ing the long cold months is eas­ier said than done.

But those who take the easy op­tion are of­ten the same peo­ple who panic when there’s just 12 weeks left to get in shape for the beach.

Here are a few tips to keep your blood flow­ing when you’d much rather stay in­doors.

Go shop­ping. New shoes, leg­gings, tops, sweat­shirts and even socks can help beat away the fit­ness blues if you haven’t worked out for a while.

Get a good rain jacket. Wind and rain are great ex­cuses to stay in­doors and among the the main rea­sons why we slack off on our fit­ness goals over win­ter.

In­vest in a high-qual­ity light­weight wind and wa­ter­proof jacket to help pro­tect you against the el­e­ments.

Two’s com­pany, three’s even more com­pany.

Fit­ness with friends is far more mo­ti­vat­ing than traips­ing along streets on your lone­some, es­pe­cially in the mid­dle of win­ter.

Get a walk­ing buddy or join a run­ning club. The fact that oth­ers are get­ting up at the same time as you is more likely to in­spire you to get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off.

Move your alarm clock to the other side of the room.

Tak­ing it off your bed­side ta­ble will force you to get out of bed and turn it off. And if it doesn’t, your part­ner will kick you out of bed to do it in­stead. Once you’re up, stay up.

Pre­pare for the morn­ing. Let’s not beat around the bush; it’s go­ing to be chilly what­ever time you de­cide to ex­er­cise dur­ing win­ter.

If you’re the kind who likes get­ting it over and done with first thing in the morn­ing, lay your clothes out the night be­fore and grab a pro­tein shake or smoothie you made last night from the fridge.

The eas­ier you make it to ex­er­cise, the more likely it’ll be that you do it. Har­ness the power of tech­nol­ogy.

The pop­u­lar­ity of smart­phones has seen a big jump in the de­vel­op­ment of ap­pli­ca­tions that can help with ev­ery area of your life, in­clud­ing fit­ness.

Find an app that tracks your run­ning speed and dis­tance; some even set you up with a learn-to-run pro­gramme if you’re not tal­ented in the putting-one-foot-in-front-ofthe-other-quickly arena. A Fit­bit is a sim­i­lar con­cept, ex­cept it tracks ev­ery­thing from how many steps you’ve walked in a day to how long you sleep at night.

Analysing the stats at the end of the day en­cour­ages com­pe­ti­tion with your­self to make to­mor­row bet­ter.

Set a goal. If you sign up for a half­marathon or 10km swim, you’re more or less com­mit­ting your­self to train regularly; there’s noth­ing sil­lier than turn­ing up to an event com­pletely un­pre­pared, even if you’ve had nine months to sort your­self out.

Bet­ter still, sign up with a friend and train to­gether.

Keep­ing fit dur­ing win­ter can be dif­fi­cult.

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