I always struggle to find my fitness motivation at this time of year. Perhaps it’s because the days are cooler, wetter and shorter – getting out of the house requires a bit more effort! Or maybe it’s a result of the cosier jumpers and jeans we’ve all started wearing again – part of me feels less inclined to work out when I’m going to be covered up anyway! And well, shouldn’t we actually all be putting on a little extra weight in the build up to a chilly winter? At least that’s what I usually tell myself. This year though, I’m resolved to maintain my enthusiasm and not make a habit of slouching on the sofa with a pack of biscuits always within reach. To help me achieve this, I’ve decided to make a plan – and stick to it.
Everyone has their preferred time to workout. For me, it’s nice and early. A morning workout wakes me up and puts me in a great mood, plus getting the blood pumping before breakfast is the perfect way to kickstart that metabolism, whatever the time of year. Plus, lots of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder around this time, and a good workout can help remedy this.
There’s no hiding the fact that dragging yourself out from under a warm duvet is a battle, but as they say: wake up with determination and you’ll go to bed with satisfaction. I wholeheartedly agree!
After months of not seeing much of my gym, now’s the time David Lloyd and I get reacquainted! You could try a spin class, a TRX session or some weights followed by some treadmill training. I’m considering setting myself a 5K run challenge where I’ll see if I can break the 20-minute barrier. I did this before I had my daughter and now we’re five years on, I think it’s time to try again. Tabata training is another possibility: 20 seconds sprinting, ten seconds rest, repeat ten times. It’s the perfect way to start the day.
If you’d rather stick to the great outdoors, good on you! I tend not to run in the dark because I don’t feel completely safe, but running with an organised group or friends solves this issue. It can also help motivate you and take your mind off the training as you can have a good chat along the way. Sign up for an event taking place in 2016 and give yourself something to work towards. I’m counting down to the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon at the moment, but there are plenty of other races held all over the country right through the year.
Or simply head to your local park! These days, some fantastic fitness clubs meet in parks, from Park Run on Saturday mornings to British Military Fitness (BMF) throughout the week. My husband and I love BMF – it’s particularly good if you have a competitive streak like I do, as that helps to spur you on!
It’s also a truly sociable event. I made friends with some members of the class immediately – we bonded over our hatred of burpees! We also ended up in the pub after some sessions, which I thought was a nice touch, even if it did negate some of the benefits of training.
Someone once said to me that if you’re struggling to find your fitness motivation, just ask yourself this: would you rather feel sore tomorrow because you worked out, or sorry that you didn’t? If you don’t push yourself, who will? Remember you can always find a reason to avoid exercise, but you will only ever feel better for doing it.