Ever heard that saying ‘Summer bodies are built in the Winter’? Well now’s best the time to kick start your fitness regime and take advantage of the cold temperatures, whether your goals this year are a triathlon, marathon or weight loss, outside is the BEST place to train. Here are some reasons why:
Strengthens your immune system
Boosts your mental wellbeing
Beats the winter Blues
Increases lung Capacity
Uses oxygen more efficiently
Burns more calories in the cold
Despite of all your best efforts, dedication in the summer and your pride for living an active lifestyle, it can still be challenging to maintain day-to-day motivation for training in the winter. It can also be confusing when you don’t feel like your normal self. On the inside you feel like you lack drive or you can’t find your mojo to get up and go. That’s when the excuses start to creep in.
So if you struggling to get motivated and go outside we’ve got some tips for you that will help you rip that bandaid off and get going!
1. Factor exercise into your routine, choose a time of day whether it be morning lunch or straight after work, if you plan well and prep for it you’re more likely to go ahead. Pack your clothes the night before and have your gym bag ready to go, run to work, run at lunch, or go straight from work already dressed.
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 the stimulus you need to throw back the covers and get out of the house.
3. Dress the part. The truth is there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices. Is it time to upgrade to proper winter performance gear? If you’ve cringed at the cost of higher-priced winter hats, gloves, tights, tops or jackets for outdoor activity, just hit Decathlon, they have base layers and thermals for as cheap as £5: The price is easily offset by the increase in enjoyment, comfort and enthusiasm that helps counteract the cold. If you already have some, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a new piece. A new base layer or trail running shoes might be the bribe you need to head outdoors on a regular basis.
4. Keep it simple, silly (K.I.S.S.). The best way to overcome our excuses is to not create them in the first place. The more things that need to fall into place in order to get to your session on time, the more likely we are to find a reason not to go. Go for a 25-minute run around the office block at lunch, or do three laps of your neighborhood first thing, you’ll finish a quality workout with less hassle and at a pace that feels rewarding.
5. Warm up indoors. Do some jumping jacks, squats or pushups in your living room before heading out. Not only will it get your heart rate going and your blood circulating, it will make it very difficult to slide back into bed. Excuses be gone!
6. Tap into technology. Proclaiming your intention to workout each day on Facebook, Twitter, your blog or online community (e.g. Nike+) can strengthen your commitment, even if it is to avoid the embarrassment and guilt of not following through.
7. See the big picture. Find a 12-week calendar from January to March. Put it on one page and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day (bedroom wall or office desk) . When you look at all three months together you realize how fast it’s going to go. Use this to plan and track your workouts and the winter events you’d like to participate in. Winter can seem long but if you focus on the big picture, you’ll see the spring thaw is just around the corner. With it looming that close, you’ll be more motivated to get fit and ready for the first race of the year.
8. Use mini-goals for major rewards. Set small targets that lead to higher intensity, focus and discipline to stay on track each day. Perhaps the number of miles this week, the number of workouts over the next seven days, or steady improvements in strength gains on the bench press. For maximum motivation, always write your goals down, making them specific and measurable, and track progress so you can reward yourself for the results.