Struggling to find the motivation to exercise when it’s cold outside? Here are 5 tips from personal trainer and blogger, Samsays to keep you focussed and accountable during the winter months.
Training in the winter, for the most part, sucks right?! The dark mornings, the dark nights and the cold miserable weather makes us think about your hearty comfort foods, cuddling up under blankets and drinking hot chocolate (which there’s nothing wrong with by the way). However, it does make it really difficult to stay motivated to get up early and workout when all we want to do is stay tucked up in a nice warm bed.
Even with the right mindset, all of that darkness and cold weather will most likely get to everyone at some point. Does that mean you can’t stay motivated? Hell no - it just means you have to adapt your mindset and routine a little. Here a few of my top tips to help you to overcome this difficult time:
1. Healthy food doesn’t equal cold salads
When it’s cold all the time, it’s very easy to reach for warm comfort foods that aren’t necessarily in line with our goals, but how about preparing meals that can be comforting AND healthy? There are plenty of meals that you can make from scratch that actually involve all of the good stuff, provided that you make it yourself. For example, a delicious Bolognese or chilli filled with plenty of vegetables and lean protein (or just veggies and
beans if you follow a plant-based diet). Curries made with low fat coconut milk, soups and stew are other great options - the list goes on! Healthy doesn’t have to be boring or cold.
2. Set yourself a new goal
Set yourself a new challenge, but give it a timescale, be realistic and be prepared to put in the hard work. Whether your goal is to build muscle or improve your energy levels, having an end goal is a great way to stay motivated and to identify our achievements, which is great for our self-esteem and overall wellbeing. If you’re going to the gym with no real goal or intention, you’re very unlikely to go when you’re generally feeling a bit ‘meh’ in the first place.
3. Aim for results
This follows on from my last point, but I want to reiterate something - why would you carry on doing something that doesn’t make you feel good? Let’s say you set yourself a goal and don’t achieve it - you’re going to feel pretty disheartened - that’s only natural. However, if you push through that feeling and consistently work hard to reach your goal, you’re going to feel pretty epic when you get there. That’s when you start to enjoy the process and actually want to keep going.
4. Be accountable
Sometimes simply doing something for ourselves just isn’t enough - and that’s okay. I actually think there’s very few people who can keep themselves motivated at all times - they’re the minority. A little healthy pressure to get your ass up and moving is never a bad thing - so whether its a friend, family member or a coach, there’s no harm in having someone else on the other end who you don’t want to let down. You can’t beat a great support network!
5. Change up your routine
Okay, so you used to train in the evenings and that worked when the sun was out and the weather was amazing. Now, if you are still motivated and doing just fine as you are - don’t change a thing. However, if you’re struggling to get to the gym after work because you’re tired and it’s already pitch black - maybe it’s time to change your routine. The thought of training in the morning may sound horrendous to begin with, but it might not be such a bad move. Getting up in the dark and going to the gym is always going to be hard, but imagine finally finishing work and not having to worry about fitting your training in?! Not to mention that once you actually get your session done, you’ll most likely feel full of energy because of it - giving you that gentle nudge of positivity you might just need to start the day right.
Until next time.