We don’t blame you for losing your motivation to exercise during the winter.
With it being so dark by the time you leave the office after work, it’s hard to get fired up to do little more than cosy up with a glass of vino on the couch. Plus, with autumn well and truly here and winter on the horizon, the temperature has dropped significantly so it’s even more challenging to wake up early and get out of bed for a pre-work training session.
On top of that, it’s also a very festive and social time leading up to Christmas, end of year celebrations with many public holidays equals a great time to catch up with friends – eating, drinking and being merry!
As a result, good nutrition and exercise can often fall by the wayside if not planned correctly.
Here are a few things to consider that can help you keep on track
Being the silly season there’s going to be a lot more social events/functions as well as getting darker much earlier. Make sure you plan for this. Have a think about what some realistic targets might be to get you into the gym or exercising consistently.
For example say you normally set a goal of getting to the gym 6 times a week which you know will be a massive stretch at this time of the year, cut it down, lock in 3 sessions 100% and perhaps a couple of walks or a HIIT class as an extra, that way you are more likely to be consistent in your approach and won’t feel like you keep letting yourself down.
2. Total Calories
If weight loss or maintenance is in your interest, it may be worthwhile understanding how many calories per day you need in order to lose weight and maintain weight, also known as your BMR (basal metabolic rate) which is just a fancy term for how much energy you burn per unit to survive and maintain weight.
Assuming you have found out that number, here’s an approach that may work more effectively for you; count your calories in a weekly sum rather than daily as you know social events will be rife.
One day you may have 4 glasses of wine or a slice of Christmas cake, which if you were counting daily would throw you off. However from the perspective of counting weekly, just try and be sensible the next day and have less calories so you’re on track for the week.
3. Schedule workouts
Create external accountability; commit to making gym sessions, book in with a PT or a class (if available for you), jump on a short term exercise programme or gym trial. If that is not an option for you then an even more simple way you can create external accountability for yourself is to buddy up with a friend or colleague – or even set a competition amongst friends that you will commit to X number of sessions a week.
4. Be prepared
If you know that you are planning to go to the gym after work or first thing in the morning then have your kit bag ready to take with you so you don’t end up bailing after work. Or in the morning, have your alarm set and your gym stuff at the ready instead of just winging it as to when you’re going to exercise otherwise it’s much more likely that you’re going to skip the session.
5. Consider timing of workouts to avoid distraction
Often social events and work gets the best of us in the latter part of the day and it’s easy to then get side tracked and cancel your workout plans. Perhaps scheduling lunch or morning workouts would be best so you get it done and don’t leave it as the last task of your day.
In summary, planning ahead is what will lead to success during the colder months and will feel more motivating to get stuck in once you have some targets that are reasonable and achievable so that if you fall of the wagon you can just get back on and keep going!
If you have any questions on the above or would like some advice on how we could help you with your fitness goal, don’t hesitate, visit our gym and try one of our small group personal training sessions.