The temperature has dropped off a cliff, it is permanently raining and it is getting dark earlier. This common phenomenon is called winter and usually lasts around 11 months of the year in UK. You have worked hard to get leaner for our 30 days of sun, in which you spent 28 days moaning that it was “too hot”, but the difficult question is, “how do we maintain it”?
Winter is associated with sitting in front of fire, putting on your big thick jumpers and comfort eating your third helping of slow cooked stew and dumplings. It can be a little bit more difficult to motivate yourself and get out of hibernation. I want to share a few tips that will motivate you to put on your waders and face the great outdoors, like the true hero you are.
Set a Goal
Over the winter months we often fall off the metaphorical horse because we don’t have a target to aim for. Goals are normally associated with summer holiday, the beach and putting on your budgie smugglers. Not all goals have to be vanity based or targeted around the scales. In fact, I often urge people not to have vanity goals, as the goal posts are easily moved as you get closer to your original goal. I would highly recommend a performance related goal. A 5 km run time, a certain weight lifted in the gym or a CrossFit workout in a certain time (if that tickles your fancy).
By understanding what you want to achieve and why, you will be more motivated, more driven and more likely to make great progress throughout the winter months.
Get a Coat
Your skin is waterproof and you are not going to fill up like a sponge in the rain. Get some decent waterproofs, some thermals and your walking boots on. Nothing good happens sitting in the comfy seat. Embrace the weather and use it as some free character building. Putting your body under stress, whether that is from exercise, our environment or the weather has to be seen as a positive. Stress makes us stronger. We adapt and overcome stress to improve our abilities to tolerate it again in the future.
Don’t use the weather, the temperature or the light as an excuse to not achieve your goals. It can be tougher to motivate yourself, but you need to embrace it and go splash in some puddles with a smile.
Take up a New Sport or Challenge
As the weather changes and your goals change, it is a great time to start something new. Whilst I am big fan of lifting weights to stay in shape (round is a shape, right?), it is not your only option. Play rugby, join a CrossFit gym, start a local running club, just whatever you do, make sure it is active. During the first few weeks of anything new, your motivation is usually sky high. Use this time to start cementing good habits and build a solid foundation for the remainder of the year.
Get a Workout Buddy
It’s easy to talk yourself out of exercising and just sit on the sofa. If you have someone else relying on you, you are more likely to get involved and not let them down. Find a close friend or family member that you can rely on to motivate each other.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – Aristotle
You can achieve great things by being involved in a group of like-minded individuals. This is something I believe CrossFit has got mastered. They build a good community sprit and team mentality that helps everyone achieve more than they would on their own.
I would also like to point out that a coach or personal trainer can be a great tool to build that accountability and give you a metaphorical kick up the arse.
Don’t use the winter months as an excuse to give up on your goals and slob out on the sofa. You will be giving your future self a mammoth task for the new year if you do. You can enjoy nights in front of the sofa, but you also need to stay active to maintain or build on the hard work you have put in earlier in the year.
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.