The darker, colder winter months can test your motivation and the thought of making time to stay active may not seem all that appealing. It is recommended by experts that you should try to do a minimum of 30 minutes of low-moderate activity at least 5 days per week. In acknowledgement of this guideline, it is important to review your approach to physical activity to ensure you remain motivated; so you can continue to make great progress with your health and fitness! Whether you are just starting out, getting a running start on your 2020 new year’s resolution or even finding it difficult to maintain your current exercise routine, you may find this advice timely and hopefully very useful!
1. Set realistic goals
One of the biggest things that can work against your workout progress and motivation is unrealistic goals…start simple and smash those targets! You may need to review your workouts and make them slightly easier or more practical if you are finding it difficult to commit each week, this may feel like backward steps but it is essential to ensure you don’t stop altogether!
2. Look after your health
Colds and the flu are common in the winter months, where everyone hides from the elements in a warm, confined office. It is important to make sure you watch out for the development of flu like symptoms and source effective treatment for fast acting relief; Pharmica Online Pharmacy is a great place to order treatment for flu like symptoms. Furthermore, cold air can cause respiratory irritation which is even more intense with exercise outdoors. If you are asthmatic, make sure you monitor your symptoms and ensure you have effective treatment to reduce irritation. An effective solution may be to train inside, where the air is warmer and less impactful on your breathing; this leads nicely on to the next tip.
3. Bring exercise indoors
The harsher elements can make training outside difficult due to rain, ice and earlier darker evenings. It may well be time to renew your gym membership… or find an activity that you can do inside (e.g. swimming, squash, indoor football). Training at the gym can also help to increase your motivation due to the collective feeling of everyone working out together, you may find that joining a class is beneficial to reducing the feeling of isolation and low motivation when exercising by yourself.
4. Partner up with friends
Find a gym buddy. If you don’t have a friend that is as interested in keeping fit, you don’t have to go asking strangers… join a fitness class or club. Exercising with friends in a group has been scientifically reported to increase your chances of maintaining an exercise routine in addition to improving well-being. Committing to your exercise group can be an effective way to keep your motivation levels high, in addition to making your exercise routine more sociable, enjoyable and even competitive!
5. Keep an eye on your diet
It’s really important to ensure you have a healthy, calorie and vitamin sufficient diet. If you are looking to increase your level of exercise, eating more following exercise is necessary to ensure you replace your increase in energy expenditure (one of the many perks of exercise!). Depending on your workout aim, whether its weight loss, general fitness or stress relief, it is important to adjust your calorie balance accordingly where you may be aiming for a calorie deficit for weight loss rather than simply maintaining your weight.
6. Plan ahead
Planning is key to committing to keeping fit and healthy. You need to be able to create time for yourself, especially if you are busy at work most of the time. It may suit you to exercise early in the morning, late in the evening or even at work! Low to moderate exercise can be achieved by integrating further walks, more step climbs at work or more time on your feet at work. Even walking slightly faster than normal can have excellent health benefits and will also help you get out of the miserable weather quicker…. you may find putting your phone in your pocket and striding out is an easy way to get some exercise in!
7. Wrap up!
Remaining motivated to exercise when you look out the window or get back from work can be a serious challenge. Especially if you have been cold in the day or just got in from a nippy commute… so warm up and layer up before thinking about exercise! It’s always best to start off warm as it can make you feel more comfortable and motivated for braving the elements or getting in the right mindset for exercise. It may be a good idea to get some thermal garments or lycra activewear to help with retaining body heat, especially if you are training outside. Also, don’t forget to wear a hat and gloves, your head and hands have a high rate of blood flow and therefore, heat can be lost at a significant rate if these are not well covered!
Hopefully, you benefit from these simple, but often overlooked tips for keeping motivated to remain physically active this winter! Good luck!