Winter is in full swing. Dark cold wet windy mornings and evenings make an easy excuse for not exercising. For even the most serious fitness fans; motivation can be hard to come by. Instead of getting out the door after a long day at work you opt for a warm comfy sofa. Or, when that alarm goes off, it’s cold out and you’re safely tucked under the covers, the mental discussion begins: get up and exercise or stay in bed and have the day off?
It is hard to run, walk or exercise in darkness, foul weather and the cold, but as the saying goes: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. So, don’t let the winter excuses prevent you from achieving your goals, here are 10 tips that may help you kick start your winter training.
1) Recruit a exercise partner, whether it is family, a friend or even your dog.
Find someone that will commit to joining you for your walk, run or workout. Rely on someone to share the commitment, the pain, the fulfilment.
2) Reinforce the ‘good’ behaviour.
Every time you sleep in or skip the exercise you are reinforcing the ‘bad’ behaviour. You want to be fit, you want to feel good and be healthy. So, reinforce that ‘good’ behaviour early on. You’ll feel better for it rather than feeling guilty; soon it will just become routine.
3) Plan rewards
Set mini goals that work towards your main goal. Write them down and reward yourself when you achieve them. Avoid rewarding with sweet treats or alcohol. Think differently; how about a massage, lunch out or buying new workout clothes.
4) Always prepare your clothes in advance.
Have your kit ready to go. Get it laid out the night before or in the morning for when you get home from work. Remove all possibility of excuses creeping in. It will also guilt you into getting that important workout done.
5) Invest in the right winter clothes.
It is essential to have the right gear if you are exercising outside. Get the base layers on, decent gloves and socks etc. It will make that cold chill far more tolerable.
6) Have a bad weather plan.
If it really is unsafe to be outside, i.e. icy conditions, have a backup plan. Rather than thinking, ‘I’ll have the day off.’ Use it to your advantage. Workout at home, there are plenty of home exercise videos on YouTube that only take 15 minutes and require no special equipment.
7) Rethink your alarm.
Ditch your usual alarm call, use your phone to wake you up with a song that lifts your mood and energy. Something that gets you motivated, out of bed straight away and those trainers on.
8) Change it up
Studies have shown that morning exercisers have a higher success rate than evening exercisers. It is believed to be down to a lack of interference from responsibilities and excuses.
9) Keep it Simple…
The best way to overcome the excuses is to not create them. The more you have to do in order to exercise the more excuses you can create. Finish work, drive home getting stuck in traffic, get your gym bag, go back out again to the gym and so on. Make things easier for yourself, try a 20min run on your lunch, do a 15min blast workout at home.
10) Tell People
Strengthen your commitment by telling people what your workout plans are later in the day. This creates a commitment with yourself to get out there and get it done. You want to avoid the embarrassment or guilt if that person asks you about it the next day. Simple little mind trick.
Give one or two of these tips a try this week and find what works for you. Remember exercise should have a point and be getting you towards a main goal, it should be enjoyable so find something that works for you. If you are really stuck and not sure what to do, drop a message to me and I’d be more than happy to help. Good luck and don’t let things get in your way!
AC Running and Fitness