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Keeping motivated this Winter 

runners in the winter

Winter is upon us. It’s dark, its cold and let’s be honest, it can be pretty difficult to keep active, right? Did you know that weather is one of the most commonly reported barriers to exercising? Don’t let this winter knock your motivation!

Check out our TOP 10 tips to staying motivated in the colder months.

1. Don’t use the weather as an excuse

Get outdoors at least once a day. If you really can’t bear the thought of exercising in the cold and rain, plan an alternative. Home workouts are a great way to stay active. HIIT, yoga, pilates, bodyweight circuits, barre, your options are endless… Get on YouTube and subscribe to some channels you know you’ll enjoy!

2. Set yourself goals

Set a long-term goal that you want to achieve by the end of the Winter (around March/April time). Plan some short-term goals, too. These short-term goals will keep you on track and motivated as you make your way through the dark and cold months ahead, towards that bigger goal.

For example, maybe you want to run 10km, do a marathon or even get to the end of a 20 minute HIIT workout. That’s great! Set yourself smaller and more immediate goals to get you there. These could be committing to a certain number of miles you want to cover per week or signing up for a certain amount of gym sessions.

As the weeks progress, remember to remind yourself of your goals. Consider how it will FEEL when you ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL? Ask yourself this question to keep motivated.

3. Get a gym buddy or running partner

This might be a virtual buddy or someone running alongside you. If you are going virtual, use apps like Strava to check in on each other and give each other kudos. Maybe complete some virtual workouts together whilst on face time, you could even consider ‘walks and talks’. Make sure you pop these sessions into your diary so you have made them a priority. You’re buddies… and buddies don’t let each other down.

4. Plan your activity

Don’t wing it. Plan your weekly activities by putting them in your calendar. If you have sessions booked in and you have prioritised that time for exercise, you are more likely to do it! Remember to plan some fun weekend activities which you and the family can enjoy together. Maybe a walk in the woods or how about some family circuits?

5. Treat yourself to some winter activewear

New activewear is a great motivator. If you look the part, you feel the part! Invest in some thermal layers to make those wet walks/runs a little more comfy.

Some clothing must-haves:

  • Long-sleeved warmer gym kit, thermal layers – leggings or base layers
  • Some reflective running kit to be seen in the dark
  • A running head torch to stay visible
  • A waterproof jacket

6. Get changed into your gym kit ASAP

Use motivational music to get you pumped and energised for your activity. Podcasts are another good option! You could also try being mindful during your exercise. Take your time. Think about your movements and why your exercising. Mindfulness during exercise can give you a strong connection with your body. As you focus on each movement, your posture, the muscles you are engaging and your breathing, you are likely to achieve better results and feel more satisfied. That sounds like a winning combination, don’t you think?

7. Make a solid playlist or be mindful

Use motivational music to get you pumped and energised for your activity. Podcasts are another good option! You could also try being mindful during your exercise. Take your time. Think about your movements and why your exercising. Mindfulness during exercise can give you a strong connection with your body. As you focus on each movement, your posture, the muscles you are engaging and your breathing, you are likely to achieve better results and feel more satisfied. That sounds like a winning combination, don’t you think?

8. Pick the time of day that works for you.

Don’t dwell on the thought of exercise all day. If you know you are one of those people who find working out later on, more difficult, try exercising in the morning. That way it’s done and dusted and you can crack on with the rest of your day!

9. Think about the aftereffects

How often do you dwell on the thought of working out but once you’ve actually done it, you feel more awake and energised? Rather focus on THAT feeling! As you exercise, all those good endorphins are being released and those stress hormones being buffered. That makes you feel good and sleep better. So remember, next time you’re dreading that workout, focus on THAT FEELING!

Not only that, how do you feel if you miss an exercise session? Of course, we all have times when life takes over and we literally can’t fit that workout in but if we’re honest, those times are more the exception than the rule. Don’t just miss that run because it’s cold and the weather is bad… RECONSIDER… REMEMBER THE AFTEREFFECTS!

10. Don’t be a couch potato

A couch potato is someone who meets the government guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, yet still spends the vast majority of their time sedentary. With people spending more time at home than they used to, it’s easy to become a couch potato. Research shows that we should aim to move every 30 minutes for at least 2 minutes. It’s vitally important for our metabolic health. So get up, get moving and maximise what you have available to you.

  • Use your stairs
  • Stand up whilst waiting for the kettle to boil
  • Walk or stand whilst on the phone.
  • Dance around your living room

The options are endless. GOOD LUCK!