Cold weather is far too adept at derailing the most dedicated fitness regime. It’s much easier to hit the snooze button on a cold, dark morning than to drag yourself through a sleeping house to get a workout in before work. It’s even harder to choose a workout, after a long day at the office, over the warm embrace of a couch and a glass of red wine.
Yup, winter fitness is a struggle we all face. To make matters worse, it’s disheartening at how quickly you can lose fitness you’ve worked so hard to build up. Faced with this challenge after a period of holidays and too many deadlines, I needed to focus on getting my regular regime back on track. With the help of my Equilibrio partner and training buddy, we’ve “put on our big girl panties” and started the process of returning to good fitness habits despite the still lurking winter! This is how we’re doing it.
PLAN YOUR WEEK
If you don’t make time to train, you simply won’t! Sit down on Sunday and check out the gym schedule and find classes that suit your mood and diary. Then DIARISE your winter fitness class as you would a meeting! Try to make sure that you get at least 3 “solid” workout sessions of no less than 45minutes in each week. By this I mean that you have to put in a little effort to get your heart rate raised above a “resting” rate.
DO MORNING WORKOUTS
Doing a workout first thing sets your day up on the right track. Music boosts your mood and the exercise itself releases addictive endorphins that make you feel good all day. Your daily schedule also benefits. You’re up early and now free to get through your day’s activities without the pressure of trying to squeeze a workout in at some point.
PHONE A FRIEND
Find a workout buddy and plan your winter fitness sessions together. Having a partner is great for accountability and getting you out of your warm bed and into the gym on cold, dark mornings.
Instead of meeting for cocktails after work why not agree to meet for a gym class first – you’ll feel much more justified in enjoying that glass of wine together afterwards.
PACK YOUR KIT THE NIGHT BEFORE
Once you’ve phoned your gym buddy and planned your early morning workout session together, go lay out your kit and pack your gym bag. That way you don’t have to think about it in the morning; you can simply bounce (fall) out of bed, pull your kit on, grab your bag and you’re out the door!
GO TO BED EARLY
Sleep is scientifically proven to boost your immune system, improve energy levels and help weight loss by regulating metabolism and appetite. A good night’s sleep is not only key to good health, it also makes getting up early in the morning SO much easier!
DON’T HIT SNOOZE
Just don’t do it! Jump out of bed and get moving as soon as the alarm goes off. You might even consider moving your alarm, so you HAVE to get out of bed to switch it off.
TURN UP THE HEAT
Don’t overheat the bedroom but make sure it’s not cold. It makes it infinitely easier to get out of your warm and toasty bed if it’s not miserably cold out of it!
INVEST IN COOL NEW WORKOUT GEAR
You’ll want to show it off! There’s nothing better than looking fab while staying fit! Check out our post on the amazing Adidas winter sale here.
MIX IT UP
Try something different to your usual gym session. If you have a trainer, ask them to mix your session up a little. Something new and different tends to create excitement and interest.
TONE IT DOWN
Sometimes we’re feeling cold, too low in energy or just not in the mood for a hectic cardio or high impact strength session. Don’t skip a workout, head to a yoga, pilates or barre class instead. Check out Equilibrio’s review on barre classes here.
KEEP A “GYM-GO BAG” IN YOUR CAR
If you can’t make an early morning workout, keep a ‘gym go-bag’ in your car with workout gear and a change of clothes. That way you’re ready to roll if your day opens up and you have 45 minutes to squeeze in a workout.
ENTER A MIDWINTER EVENT
Enter a winter event to keep you motivated or even better, book an entire active midwinter escape like the Knysna Oyster Festival where you can enter a number of events! Find out more about this fun festival and all the sporting events on offer here.
SET A SPRING-TIME RACE GOAL
You’re always less likely to slack of if you have an event looming in Spring, especially if you’ve entered it with a friend who you don’t want to let down.
TAKE THE STAIRS
You’ve heard it so many times before, take the longer or slightly harder route so you can move more and burn a few extra calories each day.
WALK THE DOGS
The dogs love it and it’s a great way to get you active and outside enjoying the winter sun! The sunshine provides a boost in energy and it’s a great source of vitamin D, something we generally don’t get enough of. It goes without saying though, that it’s best to stay out of the midday sun that could burn.
Now you’re all set to get fit this winter so that you’ll look fantastic by summer!