Conquering Winter

In July 2023, Trucker's Health5 MinutesBy Laura HulleyAugust 14, 2023

Motivation is a myth. No one feels motivated to exercise and eat healthily every day – no matter how positive and passionate about health and fitness they are. But where motivation ends, dedication and discipline begin. Here’s how to stay on track this winter.

1. Find exercise you enjoy
When it’s cold and miserable and you feel like staying on the couch, doing an exercise you loathe will be a hard push. But it’s less of a drag if you enjoy it. The variety of exercise facilities is endless. There are dozens of gyms, fitness classes and sports teams out there you can join to vary your exercise routine.

2. Go online
The thought of leaving the house can be off-putting if it’s pouring. Head online, where you can access different styles of workouts such as HIIT, strength, pilates, yoga and boxing – you name it, it’s online and usually free. Choose the length and intensity of a workout to suit how you feel that day.

3. Prepare comfort foods
There are many healthy comfort foods to enjoy throughout the cooler months. Try a homemade (or bought) soup. Soups are an excellent way to pack in vegetables. Add a few pieces of bread to make the meal more filling and satisfying. To make life easy, make a large quiche or cottage pie to do you for three or four meals. This means you’re not having to cook and create different meals every day, making it easy to stay healthy and organised.

4. Reach out to friends and family
The support of a friend or family member can keep you accountable and disciplined. It can be as simple as meeting a mate for a walk, bike ride or gym session. It can be easy to let yourself down and say you can’t be bothered exercising. But you are less likely to stand up someone else and not show up for your planned training session together. Hopefully, this will improve your overall productivity, and you’ll feel inspired to get more sessions in between those with friends/family.

5. Plan something nice
It can be mentally tough to get through winter when days are short, dark and the weather is often shocking. It helps to have something to look forward to as we head into spring and summer. This can be as simple as booking a night away in October, or a family or friends get-together at the beach to welcome the warmer seasons and farewell winter.

6. Look after yourself
We must take care of our health, and even more so during winter. This means keeping our home warm and dry, dressing warmly every day and topping up on winter medications such as cold and flu and vitamin C tablets.

Dose up on vitamin C and immunity supplements to boost your immunity. I may sound like Mother Hen, but there are few things worse than being struck down with the flu for weeks. Exercise usually takes a back seat and you reach for unhealthy comfort foods and takeaways to try and make you feel better. (And, in reality, few medicinal benefits can be found in the local fish and chip shop or drive-through.)

7. Set winter goals
It can be disheartening to feel like you’re grinding every day and not getting anywhere. So it can help to set stepping-stone goals. These can be anything from aiming for three exercise sessions a week or only getting takeaways once a week. The idea is simple but it’s realistic and gives you a confidence boost and satisfaction as you tick off small accomplishments weekly.