Winter motivation

In Trucker's Health, July 20215 MinutesBy Laura PeacockAugust 18, 2021

On a miserable, cold day, when it’s pouring with rain, the last thing you feel like doing is putting on activewear and going for a stroll. But, never fear, here are some tips to get you through the winter blues and keep that motivation ticking over until those beautiful summer months.

Meet a friend, workmate or family member for a workout. If you have agreed to meet someone, there is more accountability than just letting yourself down by not getting your training session done.

Organise your schedule so you know where you can realistically fit in exercise throughout your week. If you are winging it, you are less likely to get it done. Whereas, if you have mapped out a training schedule, you have an idea in your mind of what you are doing that week.

Time management. Many people say that they don’t have the time to work out. Although we lead busy lives with often hectic work schedules, there is always time to squeeze in a half-hour walk – half an hour is much better than nothing. Instead of scrolling through your phone or watching nonsense on TV, you could head out for a walk or cycle or even do a workout from home – convenience is key when you lack time.

Invest your time, money and energy into exercise that you enjoy. There’s no sense in trying to force yourself to do something you hate – you won’t last.

Variety. Speaking of forcing yourself to do something every day, mix up your training. It is important to have variety for sanity and results. Your body will get used to what you are doing, day in and day out, so mix it up and shock your body a wee bit.

Acknowledge your victories. It’s so easy to get lost in the daily grind and forget how far you’ve come and how hard you’re working. Look back to where you started. How much exercise could you manage then? Are you faster, stronger, fitter and able to exercise for longer and at higher intensities? They’re all markers of progress – other than those darn scales.

Try something new. It’s so easy to write off something and think, ‘I would never like that’. But I encourage you to give something new a try. Never be afraid to suck at something new – everyone has to start somewhere.

Increase your exercise. It’s sensible to keep gradually upping the intensity and/or duration to keep your body challenged. It’s easy to do the same training week in and week out, but it’s vital that we keep inching up our training sensibly so that our bodies are constantly getting stronger, fitter and more able.

Optimism. A crucial element to any goal or training regime is your attitude towards it. It’s easy to be hard on yourself and be over-critical of your performance. But suppose you remain optimistic and offer yourself plenty of self-praise? In that case, you are more likely to succeed on your health and fitness journeys – rather than belittling yourself for minor errors and setbacks along the way.

Nutritious food. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is essential to include plenty of healthy foods in your diet. Sometimes we think, ‘I’ve exercised, so I’ve earned this treat’. Treats are fine in moderation, but you probably haven’t formed the best habit if unhealthy foods become a go-to after exercise. Instead, try to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and protein in your diet – you’ll feel better for it.

Give these simple tips and tricks a go over the winter months. I’m sure you will find them valuable.

   
Laura Peacock – Personal trainer TCA Fitness Club