The long winter days can be enough to make even the most steadfast fitness fanatic want to miss the workout, hideaway under blankets and curl up with something warm and comforting.
However, if you are serious about your fitness, it is essential that you don’t risk jeopardizing the routine you worked for the rest of the year to perfect. Just a few weeks away from training can undo all your hard work, so use the winter to get you motivated. There may be the odd days where awful weather stops you from getting out there but on the days that it is possible, focus that energy into beating your own personal bests, tightening your core and really getting yourself ready for the spring.
Here, we share a few tips to help you make the most of the winter months.
1) Have the right clothing and equipment
As the old saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. To train outdoors, it is vital that you have the correct clothes to keep you safe, comfortable and warm. This includes thermal gloves, headbands, leggings, and sensible base layers. Base layers help to trap a layer of warm air between the clothing and the skin and wick away any moisture created by sweat. Remember, visibility is often reduced in the colder and darker months, and one moment the weather might be ok, and the next it is dense fog and mist. If you are outdoors, make sure you are wearing high visibility, fluorescent or reflective clothing, and if possible, wear a head torch.
2) Stay Indoors
Sometimes, the weather is just too dangerous to go outside, so dig out that treadmill from the garage or head to the gym for some personal strength training. If you do not have access to expensive fitness equipment or the gym, you can do a workout at home with items found around your house – tins and bottles make excellent weights. You can also find a wide range of exercises for free on YouTube to suit every ability and fitness level.
3) Consider the effect that winter training has on the body
Research has shown that our bodies actually burn fat quicker and more effectively than in warmer temperatures. The body raises its core temperature to keep you warm and begins to burn any areas of brown fat, so if you’re trying to lose some weight, the colder weather may be of some benefit!
4) Find yourself an accountability partner
Sometimes, when it is almost too tempting to stay in bed and forget the training, an exercise buddy or accountability partner can be helpful. It is much harder to let somebody else down than it is yourself, so it is a superb tool for motivation. It also makes those training sessions a little bit more fun and enjoyable.
5) Remind yourself why it is important
When you’re all warm and tucked up on the sofa under a blanket it can be easy to forget why you are training and the feelings of euphoria and adrenaline that come after a good workout. When you are training, your body releases feel-good hormones – which will help blast away those winter blues and get you both mentally and physically ready for the summer months.