Beating the winter exercise blues
A fitness programme can be difficult to maintain during the winter
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.