Let’s be honest, frigid temperatures, bone-chilling winds and dark morning skies are not ideal when we are trying our best to motivate a departure from our warm doona during the winter months.
We know the most challenging part is making the process happen, and very rarely do we ever regret the decision after the fact so what is the trick is knowing how to motivate yourself and overcome excuses and barriers that stop you in your best intentional tracks?
I know personally, that I embrace the cooler months as it breaks the monotony of the early morning heat we experience in Australia. I love the feeling of being able to watch the sunrise for the day – a sight that never grows old nor is taken for granted. I love the feeling of being in the minority and greeting like-minded folk as we nod at each other with an amicable smile. This is what entices me to embrace winter fitness.
Let’s face it there aren’t enough hours in the day so trying to fit everything into the space when it’s only daylight hours will leave us short of our goals. Not only for our fitness but for our mental well-being also. Adjusting each season with our mindset reduces the probability that excuses will enter the picture. There may be a little bit more ‘grit’ involved to see you lace up the shoes, but this does come easier as the process becomes more habitual.
Here are a couple more tips that might
Overcome Your Winter Excuses
Have the right gear
There is no such thing as feeling cold if you have the correct gear. This may mean investing in a lightweight long sleeve breathable top, tights or gloves. It is always best to start off feeling a little cold purely because it doesn’t take long to warm up and excess gear can be a pain to juggle.
Set the plan in stone
Schedule your workouts and guard them like a crazy person. Owe it to yourself that this is your non-negotiable time to do something for yourself. Place your clothes out the night before if it means you are not disturbing the rest of the house and never rely on natural wakening – even if you are 5 minutes off the planned time you were going to squeeze in some activity this can be enough of an excuse. Set an alarm or always make sure you are leaving the office by a set time.
Research shows it is easier to stick to a routine when consistency is at play – so making a weekly plan, specifying on what days you will do what will reduce on the fly poor decision making.
Utilise the indoors
Sure, it might be raining and when mixed with the dark and cold that there is certainly a strong case to stay indoors. Working out in your home doesn’t take much effort – with free YouTube workout that uses bodyweight, you will never feel bored. Try yoga, HIIT, Pilates, dance and spin bike workouts if you have the resources and skip the travel time it takes to get to the gym.
Rest when you need to
Wintertime naturally asks us to be a little kinder to ourselves and offers the opportunity to sleep in a little bit more and retreat from the elements at night. When we are rested and take time for recovery it’s easier to be motivated to exercise, so it’s important to find the balance.
Summer bodies are made in winter
Feeling comfortable in your own skin is not seasonal. Having a year-round goal of looking after yourself through exercise and healthy eating helps you stay energized, and more likely to maintain a stable weight year-round. They say a summer body is made in winter, but I like to think a little deeper on this one and suggest a body that endures the season releases feel-good hormones year-round – which is far more important than how we look.
Being aware of our thoughts and catching ourselves when we feel like we are spiralling into an excuse-making moment can be an empowering trait. Questioning the inner voice to see if there is in fact any truth behind the excuse helps to reframe and devalue what could be outdated information.
Beating the winter blues is not a myth but a scientifically recognised phenomenon. Having strategies and a toolkit full of ways you know you can outwit excuses when they pop up is the most important hurdle you will need to overcome on your way to enjoying a winter fitness routine.