We’ve all been there, gym kit on (or very close to being on), finally gearing yourself up for that run, you look out the window…it’s dark, cold and ultimately all very un-alluring. So it’s back to the sofa I guess?….Not so fast! Here’s my top 5 tips for staying strong all winter long – even when it looks like the apocalypse is upon us outside!
1) Stop overthinking it
Usually it looks worse than it is. More often than not it’s a case of sacking it up and getting out there. Once your outside getting the blood pumping, the endorphins flowing and breathing in that fresh air, you’ll start to get yourself into your workout. Sitting inside glaring out the window watching each rain cloud come in (or not!) isn’t doing anyone any good. The intention to get an outdoor workout was there but we all too easily let the doubt in our mind conquer us. Essentially by the time you’ve thought about starting and had a little dither about it, you may as well have gone and got it done. Even if it was a quick 15 minute run, or perhaps some sprint training, chances are you’ll feel a world better for doing it than not.
Where your dedication will prevail is in your ability to remain un-phased by external forces that you have no power over. If you let the weather dictate your workouts then your leaving achieving your goals to chance. Although a bit of a cliche…summer bodies ARE made in the winter. There’s a reason why the fitness buff’s you know are in the gym throughout the year. “Rome wasn’t built in a day…but they worked on it every single day” – and that’s not just the days leading up to your big summer holiday!
2) Incorporate it into your day
Doesn’t the time just seem to fly by? How are we nearly at the end of the year already? There barely seems enough time to get work and the household chores done, let alone a bit of down time – so when on earth can we fit in that workout? The struggle is real! A great way of getting your workout in (especially in those cold, dark winter days) is to somehow incorporate the workout into your day. If you find a formula that works for you, it will be that much easier to sustain your fitness regime. If you can, run or cycle to or from work. Pack your gym kit the night before and hit the gym early doors before work or straight after work.
Personally I find it that much harder to get the motivation up to go to the gym once I’ve come home and got settled with that lovely warming (not to mention homely) cup of tea. The other week I knew the only opportunity that I would have to workout would be to run home from work. I was so busy in the day that I wouldn’t get a chance to go to the gym. I knew the second I got home the chances of me going back out for my workout were pretty slim. So, 7 miles later I was home. I had a real sense of achievement. I managed to get the workout in. I scaled a nice distance, saw some good sights, beat the time it would have taken on a stuffy tube and saved that travel card fare! Happy days! If you prepare e.g. pack your bag (lightly), take some headphones, take a backpack; it isn’t all bad. Time saving fitness – now that’s my sort of workout.
3) Layer up
My dad once told me: “there’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad outfit choices”. It’s a phrase which made a remarkable amount of sense to me and one that I use when training outdoors. You’ll only be cold if you’re not appropriately dressed for the occasion. If its raining wear a waterproof. If it’s windy wear something that works as a wind breaker. If its cold, layer up! Chilly hands? Wear some sweat wicking gloves. I see a surprising amount of people neglect this on cold winter days. Our bodies actually like working out in temperatures around 7-10 degrees celsius, so now it’s just YOU that needs convincing! And that rain? Our bodies are made of about 70% of the stuff! So that rainy run isn’t going to be all that bad for us after all!
4) Tune in
For me I find it difficult to really get going and get into my runs or outdoor training (or indoor for that matter) without some good music behind me to motivate me. Check out my Spotify Playlists for my music to help get you raring to go and get you on the way out that door!
5) Have a plan B
OK I get it…sometimes, THAT rain and THAT wind just ain’t gonna fly today. Have a back up option so there’s no getting out of your workout for the day. Can’t run? Have that back up bodyweight workout plan as your plan B. Need inspiration on what you can do without a gym and inside? Have a look at the Tone What You Own Bodyweight Workout for inspiration.
Above all else…have fun with it. Get muddy. Get sweaty. Get a little soggy! Take on the challenge and win. Get that summer body from the fruits of your winter labour and feel darn good ‘n’ proud about it. Till next time…Happy workouts my winter warriors!
Sending health & happiness,
Featured outfit The North Face from Surfdome: