Staying motivated to do exercise is especially tough when the bad weather rolls in. We’ve been hit by some pretty heavy weather systems in the past couple of weeks, and forecasts indicate we could be in for a harsh winter.
When you take the dark mornings and evenings onto account, motivation to exercise can plummet.
To a degree, you are fighting your body’s natural instinct to hunker down and put on weight through the winter.
However, we don’t need to put on winter weight any more. Our ancestors needed bulk because they lived in caves – even in recent centuries, energy and fuel supply networks weren’t what they are now, and people lived in houses that were considerably colder in the winter.
In 2015, we live far more comfortable, warmer, sedentary lifestyles, and it takes its toll on our mental and physical wellbeing.
What’s more, a well-thought-out exercise plan in the winter can give a huge boost to your frame of mind. If you suffer from seasonal affected disorder (SAD), then getting more exercise can help you get through it.
Here is Northern Bootcamp’s guide to staying motivated through the winter. As always, if you have any questions, or hints and tips to share with fellow campers, let us know via Twitter or Facebook.
- Plan it. Write down a new weekly winter plan, and remember to make it SMART: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-managed
- If you haven’t done a fitness test recently, do one now, so that you can track your autumn progress and see where you are now so that you can set a new target for December
- If you train outdoors buy some new kit for colder weather, get wrapped up and put all of your kit out together the night before so that you look forward to getting wrapped up when you step outside. Make sure that not being able to find your hat or gloves is no excuse not to get out there to run or walk
- Change your longer steady state runs/walks to the weekend. Instead of making Sunday your day off, make this your longer run/walk day when you have more daylight hours
- Do shorter but more effective sessions outdoors in the evenings. A 20-30 minute speed session, such as hill sprints, Fartlek, or interval training can be as effective as a 45 minute run/power walk
- Look for a new class in the gym, move one or two of your outdoor sessions indoor and look for some HIIT classes at your local gym. Metafit, circuits, spinning or indoor boot camps are all great forms of HIIT training
- Do at least one session in the comfort of your own home. Plan exactly what you are going to do in your session, at exactly what time and clear a floor space get your gym kit on and water bottle at the ready and complete a 20-30 minute HIIT session
- Remember – every single exercise session, whether it is for five minutes or an hour, is more positive than doing nothing at all