When the rain is pounding on the window panes, it’s dark and simply poking a toe out from under the duvet lets you know it’s freezing, finding the motivation to exercise can be tough. Succumbing to the lure of the snooze button may be tempting but it won’t help you reach your goals.
Here’s eight tips to help you make it happen.
Ready, set, go
If you choose to exercise in the morning the hardest task can be getting out of bed. It’s not easy to leave the comfort of the warm, cosy duvet in favour of facing the elements. To make the getting up part easier, prepare your kit the night before and lay it out next to your bed. Leave your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you must get out of bed to switch it off. As soon as you are up, make the bed. You could consider investing in a daylight emulating lamp and switch this on when you get up. The simulation of daylight will help you to feel more alert and you’ll be ready to smash your workout in no time.
Ensure you have the right kit to get you through cold winter workouts. If you are running or training outdoors, ensure you have a windproof jacket plus a lightweight hat and some gloves. Thermals or base layers are a must and aim for breathable fabrics. Keeping the cold out will make exercising so much more comfortable. Wear a waist bag so if you get too warm you can remove layers and stuff them inside.
Switch it up
If scraping the morning frost off your car windows or heading out into the cold evening to visit the gym is too much to bear, then why not alter your routine? You don’t have to be in a gym or treading the pavements to burn fat. YouTube is packed full of online workouts, created by reputable personal trainers. Check out The Body Coach TV or Shelly Dose Fitness. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete you will find a workout that will challenge you without leaving the comfort of your living room. No excuses.
Creating a visual representation of your goals can be remarkably compelling. If your goal is to run 100 kilometres over a month, design a chart with 100 boxes, each representing a kilometre. Colour in a box each time you run a kilometre, and this will drive you to stay focussed on your goals. You can apply this principle to all sorts of goals and it’s a powerful way to keep on track whilst also allowing you to celebrate your achievements.
Music is always good for the soul and a blast of your favourite tune is guaranteed to put fire in your belly during your workout. That said, why not feed the mind at the same time as exercising the body? A top tip for keeping motivated is to listen to inspirational material such as a podcast, The Art of Brilliance podcast is amazing or an audio book. I often listen to Brene Brown or Jen Cincero’s books whilst smashing out my cardio workouts. It’s amazing how quickly the time flies.
Make an appointment
If you had an appointment with a professional or a friend, you wouldn’t cancel it unless something major cropped up and yet if you have the intention to exercise, it’s easy to put it off. Stop! Block out your training times in your calendar and make this time non-negotiable. Make an appointment with yourself and treat yourself with the same respect you reserve for others by not bombing out and letting yourself down.
Find a friend, trainer or group you can work out with over the winter season. Joining forces will help with accountability and you’ll be less likely to choose an episode of East Enders over a spin class if you are due to meet a mate there. Bootcamps, running groups and fitness classes are such great fun and mixing with like-minded people is great for the mindset too.
Be stronger than your strongest excuse
This one is the holy grail. Remember, these are YOUR goals, it’s your body and it’s your mission. Every time you procrastinate or bypass a session, you are delaying the outcomes you are craving. Making excuses only impacts you. Focus on the task in hand, i.e. the run or the class, rather than the influencing factors such as the rain or how tired you feel. Nobody ever regrets working out after the event so suck it up, get it done and be proud of yourself for being a badass!
As featured in the Irish Daily Star