Winter can be a really tough time to stay motivated: the days are short and the weather is cold and all you want to do is stay snuggled up indoors with heaps of comfort food. However, this is the time of year when staying fit really matters as it can prevent common illnesses and keep you healthy through to spring. Check out these top tips for staying motivated this winter so that you feel great in the months to come and don’t turn into a couch potato.
Go running on your lunch break
It’s completely understandable that by the time you get home from work you feel exhausted and there’s nothing less appealing than lacing up and hitting the road. It’s cold and dark and you’d rather just eat your dinner and watch TV. So, why force it? Instead of running in the dark after work when you’re tired, try going running on your lunch break when you’re feeling a bit fresher and it’s still light outside. If you take your sportswear with you, you’ll be prepared and you can easily squeeze in a quick 5k and still have plenty of time to freshen up, eat your lunch, and get back to your desk within the hour.
Get the right gear
Of course you’re going to feel unmotivated if you haven’t got the right workout gear. If you constantly have to pull up your leggings which keep falling down or you don’t have a warm-enough running jacket, the thought of getting out there will be even harder. On the flip side, if you know you have awesome activewear that is comfortable and warm, you’ll have one less excuse. It’s worth treating yourself to good quality fitness clothing that fits you properly and has all the right technology such as sweat-wicking and multi-way stretch so that you’re not held back by what you’re wearing.
Find a buddy
Trying to stay motivated on your own can be tough as you have no one to be accountable to and it can be easy to skip workouts. Try finding a friend or family member who also has fitness goals they want to achieve so that you can train together. Not only will this make your workouts more fun and enjoyable, having someone to let down will mean you’re less likely to skip out on a training session for no good reason.
Don’t be unrealistic
In summer, when the sun rises at 4am, it can be easy and even refreshing to set your alarm for 5am to go work out. However, in winter, when the days are dark and we’re lucky to get sunlight even during the day, hitting snooze and falling back asleep is far more likely. Don’t force yourself to do anything unrealistic as this will not help your motivation and will make exercising seem like a chore. Find what works for you and stick with that instead. This might be doing a fitness class with friends after work or going running at the weekend instead of trying to squeeze it in before work. If you constantly try to force it, you will often end up disappointed at yourself.
Making excuses is one of the main reasons people don’t achieve their fitness goals. It’s amazing how easily we can persuade ourselves out of working out, whether it’s because it’s too cold or you’re too tired or you had a bad day at work, excuses can be your nemesis. Try your hardest not to make excuses and if you do find yourself trying to find an excuse, just ignore it! Be stronger than your excuses and don’t give in to temptation. Always remember why you are doing this and how greatly it will benefit you in the long run. If you have ambitious goals but you don’t do anything to work towards them, they will never come true.
Hire a PT
If you have the means, hiring a personal trainer can be the ultimate way to stay motivated over winter. If you get to the gym with no idea of what to do, chances are you won’t do a useful workout. A personal trainer gives added accountability and they will write you a structured training programme that makes sense for you and your schedule. This means everything will be set and ready for you, all you have to do is get it done! Even if you just train with them for a few months over the winter, having a personal trainer could make a huge difference to how you feel come summer.