Winter workouts: How to stay motivated?

29 Jul 2020

Staying motivated during the colder months is easier said than done. If exercising right now is proving a struggle, try working the following tips into your winter workout routine.

We are now well and truly in the throes of winter. Mornings are dark, cold and often wet, all of which make finding the motivation to drag yourself out of a warm cosy bed that little bit harder.

Worse still, it’s that time of year when we all crave carb-heavy comfort food – who wants to be sweating it out in the gym when you could be fireside with a glass of red wine and slab of dark chocolate?

As unmotivated as you may be feeling, there are plenty of arguments for staying fit and healthy during the colder months. For starters, getting outdoors exposes us to fresh air and Vitamin D, which strengthens the immune system (important during winter!) and helps the absorption of calcium, which in turn aids bone strength.

Also, exercising regularly can help ward off the winter blues – just 10 minutes of exercise is enough to release both serotonin and dopamine (the body’s feel good chemicals), which can help reduce depression and anxiety.

If you’re currently struggling to maintain your exercise regime, consider working the following suggestions into your workout.

 

Set realistic goals

The number one tip for staying motivated throughout winter is setting yourself realistic targets and goals. This could be to lose a few kilos, get in shape for a specific event, build muscle, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or even to maintain the excellent habits you created the previous summer. Without a goal, you’ll have no motivation to get up and go.

 

Exercise at a time that suits, and prepare for it

Exercising at a time that works best for your schedule is important regardless of the season, but if you’re a morning person, for example, getting up when it’s dark and wet makes staying motivated that little bit harder. To ease the burden, prepare your exercise gear the night before. Similarly, if you’re a lunchtime exerciser, make sure you’ve packed a good healthy meal to enjoy after working out – it will give you something to look forward to and give you extra energy for the remainder of the day.

 

Find a workout buddy

Not only is working out with a mate fun, it keeps you accountable – it’s much harder to cancel on a friend than on yourself. Plus, working out with a friend doubles as an excuse to catch up and have good, healthy fun together.

If you can’t convince a friend to join you, invest in a personal trainer. A PT is literally paid to keep your exercise regime on track – they will push you when you lose motivation and help you achieve specific goals.

Invest in a chic workout wardrobe

This may seem frivolous, but cool new workout wear can be more motivating than you realise. From sneakers to trendy leggings and even tech like Fitbits and Apple watches, the new gear will give you more confidence and add a little pep to your step.

 

Try something new and do something you actually enjoy

If your workout routine is getting a little boring, see winter as an opportunity to try something different. Check out new classes in your area – Rave Ride, for example, is a new high-octane spin class in the dark. Alternatively, now might be the time to check out Pilates, yoga, boxing, dance, or strength and agility classes – winter is a great time to get fighting fit for your favourite summer sports.

 

Exercise at home.

COVID-19 has shown us you don’t need a gym to exercise. Working out from the comfort of your own home eliminates travel time (meaning more time for sleeping) and removes the ‘bad weather’ excuse. Plus, you can wear what you want, and workout in your own time with the help of a workout app. Checkout Chris Hemsworth’s Centr app, 28 by Sam WoodSweat by Kalya Itsines and Les Mills on Demand.

 

Be flexible and kind to yourself

At the end of the day, if your workout routine is going to have any longevity, it needs to be sustainable and enjoyable. Create a routine that’s easy to start and keep. Choose exercise that you find fun so that it doesn’t become a chore, and don’t set rigid rules. If your body needs a rest day, give it one. As long as you’re getting the recommended amount of daily exercise (30 to 45 minutes), you’re on the right path.

 

Eat well

Falling into winter hibernation mode often goes hand in hand with poor eating habits. And while treating yourself to the odd cookie or serve of chocolate is an absolute must during winter, you’re not going to get the most out of your workouts if your body isn’t fuelled correctly. Where possible stick to a balanced, healthy diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates (in moderation – they are necessary for energy, after all!).

 

Looking for nutritious, home-style meals to keep your energy levels high during winter? The Black Truffle stocks a diverse selection of take-home meals and salads (for both families and individuals), all made with fresh healthy ingredients. Pop in to check out our daily range.