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15 Top Tips For Motivation To Exercise During The Cold Wet Winter Months

Posted on 1 December 2018

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Now that Winter has arrived it may seem difficult (if not impossible) to keep up your exercise regime. This is simply not the case! We've put together some handy tips to keep you motivated during these dark, cold and wet months.

1. Get the right gear

Having the right outfit for the job in hand is important when it comes to winter exercise. When you first step out of the door, you'll feel the cold but as you start to exercise your body will warm up and stay warm.

Wearing a hat, headband or both, can help to reduce the amount of body heat escaping through your head whilst you exercise. Both will keep you warm whilst you wait for your body temperature to rise and if you do get too hot, you can always slip them off.

A new base layer or trail running shoes might be the bribe you need to head outdoors on a regular basis.

2. Find a friend

Find someone who will commit to joining you in the morning for walks or workouts and hold you accountable for showing up. Knowing someone is waiting for you to share the pain of the early darkness might be just what you need to throw back the covers and get out of the house.

3. Create heat

Adjust the thermostat timer to warm your home or bedroom before the alarm goes off. If the temperature outside the duvet is as enjoyable as inside, poof! the excuse is gone. Even better, put your workout clothes on the heater or radiator so they are toasty warm and ready for you when you climb out of bed.

4. Make that plan of attack

A lack of planning leads to a lack of exercise. If you try and wing it, you'll soon find you're not doing much in the way of exercise. I don't blame you, you're far from the only person who, given the choice between a windswept workout or a winter warmer and time on the couch, chooses the latter.

However, if you plan your workouts in advance, your chances of following through increase dramatically. One of the key aspects about working out in winter is to make sure that you help your body recover well.

5. Book a class or get a trainer

Sometimes you have to set that training session in stone to keep your progress on track. By booking a class or a session with a trainer, you drastically reduce the chances of bailing on your winter exercise plan.

Knowing that someone else is waiting on you is the biggest motivator to ensure you don't miss out. If you find yourself doing less and less exercise as the weather gets colder, then maybe it's time you booked a block of classes or personal training sessions to blitz your way through the winter.

6. Learn a new sport or skill

Find yourself falling off the wagon as the sleet, hail and snow roll into town? Learning a new sport or skill will not only is this a great excuse to meet new people and get social, it will also increase the fun factor compared to training alone but there is also the great sense of accomplishment that comes with learning something new.

Whether you want to try out a martial arts class, team sport or have always fancied rock climbing, grab a couple of friends and give something new a try this winter.

7. Remember, Summer is coming!

If winter is here, then that means summer isn't too far away.

Don't forget the "beach body" or active holiday where you know you'll want to be looking good, feeling good and able to keep up and stay strong. That's will be motivation enough to keep you going with your fitness routine during the hard winter months. It's the hard work and effort you put in now that will get you feeling and looking great in the summer months.

Try viewing winter as preparation for summer and use this as the motivation you need to continue working out during winter.

8. Create new habits

It's a lot easier to get out and be active when the sun is shining and it's a joy to be outside. However, when winter is upon us, getting outside to train becomes more and more taxing.

By creating new habits like packing your gym stuff the night before or prepping your meals, you make sure that you follow through with action. When you pre-pack your gym kit you have no excuse for forgetting to take it to work with you.

9. Remind yourself why it's important

You're working out because you have a goal - it could be to be fitter, faster, leaner, stronger, etc. Whatever it is, you have a reason and it was important enough to spur you into action in the first place.

As you begin to progress on your fitness journey, it can be easy to get lost in it all and lose motivation especially when you're uncomfortable, freezing, and just want a hot shower. It's important to take the time to remind yourself why you started in the first place.

10. Challenge yourself

Challenges are tough, hard and sometimes painful (in a good way), but they also fill you with a sense of pride, accomplishment and show you how you're capable of more than you thought possible.

So, in the coldest days of winter, you're struggling to get any exercise done and motivation is wearing off, why not set yourself a challenge? Aim to push yourself and see what your limits really are.

As for what your challenge could be - you could aim to compete in a race, learn a difficult skill, set a new personal best or learn a new sport.

11. Take a before photo

As I recommend to all my clients, being able to definitively see the progress you've made is insanely powerful and will be a constant reminder of the power you have for change.

Take a photo of yourself from a couple of angles as winter begins to set in, then spend the season working hard, taking additional photos monthly to get a visual snapshot of how far you've come. Do it right and you'll never struggle to work out during winter again.

12. Track your progress

Building from the previous point, tracking your progress shows you exactly how far you've come and will inspire you to keep going.

By tracking your progress, you get real proof of what's going on (as sometimes it can difficult to see) and can rest assured that you're progressing towards your goal even if sometimes you don't feel like it.

Good stats to track are your weight, waist circumference, workout performance and photos as mentioned above.

13. Become accountable

Sometimes internal motivation just isn't enough and that's ok. If it's already pitch-black outside by the time you leave the office, the last thing you want to do is go home into the warmth just to turn back around and go out to exercise.

This is where accountability comes into play. As by becoming accountable to someone else (a workout buddy, personal trainer) or a group of people (a sports team, class) you increase your chances of following through. So, if you're struggling to get inspired to train this winter, try using accountability to keep you on the right path to reach your goals.

14. Workout at home

Home workouts are a great tool in your locker to stay fit during winter as they remove the barrier of needing to venture outside to get your training done. If your environment really poses a barrier to getting you to work out, you can still opt for a gentle yoga workout, a mat Pilates strength builder, heart racing HIIT circuits or anything else from the comfort of your own home. The internet now has workouts plastered all over it that can cater for every type of fitness routine!

15. Update your playlist

I find music as one of my greatest motivators and it helps to distract me from tiredness and fatigue. As it gets colder and darker outside, your playlist needs to step it up to keep you going! As the seasons begin to change take the time to revamp your playlist and reap the benefits.

16. Sign up for a charity event

Doing a good deed for someone else might be just what you need to get you motivation up?! Signing up for charity run is a fantastic way to not only contribute to a cause you believe in but also keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to your training. Knowing that you have so many people relying on you will keep your head in the game regardless of what the weather outside is like.

It's going to get cold whether you like it or not, so there's nothing you can do to avoid that (other than leaving the country), so the best tactic is to embrace it.

Accept that it'll be cold and you won't always feel like going outside but also know that the change in seasons doesn't have to halt your progress in its tracks. Create a shift in mindset to embrace the cold weather and work with it, instead of against it. Find activities you can enjoy in the cold or just simply shift your exercise indoors. You can do it!


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