Staying Fit in Winter
It makes me sad that most people have this very 'all or nothing' mindset when it comes to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. In January, all systems are go, with 6 day a week fitness plans and strict regimes. Whereas in November and December, it's almost as if people think "well I'm going to eat loads over Christmas anyway so what's the point? I'll get back in the gym for my New Year's Resolution".
Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking goals or resolutions - I actually think they're great. However, your body doesn't know nor does it care what month it is. All your body wants is a little balance, so today I'm sharing some tips on how to stay active during the Winter months. And if you read my post about SAD - you'll know that fitness is a huge mood booster if you can get stuck in a rut at this time of year.
- Stick to what you enjoy
The last thing you want to do when you wake up on a cold morning, is go and slog it out doing a workout that makes you miserable. That's no fun! I encourage you to do what you love year round, but particularly in Winter as no other workout will get you out of bed.
Try experimenting with different classes at the gym, different Youtube workouts and more to find your favourite type of exercise. You might be pleasantly surprised and find something you really look forward to doing!
For me, yoga is something I love as it's so relaxing and good for my mental health as well as physically challenging. It's also perfect to do in the warmth and comfort of my bedroom.
- Accountability is key
I'm not usually someone who relies on accountability - I generally find I'm a self motivated person and prefer to workout on my own. However, Winter weather can require that little extra push to get to the gym, so I love some accountability in this instance.
Hiring a personal trainer is a game changer for some people, as not only do you book an appointment with them that you have to honour, you've also invested a good amount of money, so naturally will show up and give 100%!
Classes are another good idea - you don't get the chance to skip an exercise or give up on the last few reps when you know you've got some left in you.
- Active rest days
This is something I've really been working on recently. Especially as someone who works from home, if I have a rest day I might not even move from the same spot at my desk. Often, the hour in the day I'm in the gym is my main activity. If you have a sedentary job as well it's really important to find other ways to be active.
For me, this usually means doing some form of walking on my days off. Even just walking around the shops at the weekend instead of getting the tram can be the perfect gentle exercise I need for the day, as when you add it up it's usually a good hour or more's worth of walking.
- Embrace the 'off season'
If you're familiar with how athletes and fitness professionals train, they generally have an 'off season' over Winter where they're not preparing for a particular event or not playing their sport, so go a little easier on themselves.
Biologically, it's pretty natural to want to slow down a little in Winter time and rest more. As long as you're still working out 3-4 days a week, I don't see anything wrong with taking it easy for a few months and just listening to what your body needs.
At the end of the day it's all about balance for me - finding that balance between moving your body in a supportive way, whilst taking time out to rest and recuperate in the last couple months of the year.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Stay tuned as I also have a post coming up with tips on staying healthy and balanced during Winter and the holiday season.