As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, it's difficult to maintain your workout routine. The winter blues may seem to hinder your fitness aspirations, but there are strategic ways of staying on track. Adjust your routine to accommodate this time of year and set yourself up for success by joining a gym, tracking your meals, enlisting in fitness programs and setting recreational goals. Here are four ways you can stay motivated and focused on your fitness goals during winter.
Join a Gym
Escape from the outdoor chill and utilise the indoor workout facilities of your local gym. A gym is the perfect environment for you to explore new workouts and keep active during the dark, cold winter months. Many gyms also have equipment and features that let you engage in workouts that you’d usually enjoy in the warmer months. For example, if you’re an avid swimmer, find a gym with an indoor pool. You can stay cozy and still keep up on your personal records for the 100 meter. Many gyms also offer group classes, which are a great way to boost your energy and also increase your social network. Choose classes that are fun and re-energising — like an energetic dance class, indoor cycling classes or yoga — so you can go out and combat the winter world!
Comfort food tends to sneak into your diet during the winter months, as there are so many wonderful warm foods and holiday treats to enjoy. Stay aware of what you’re putting into your body so you have the proper nutrients for your workouts. You can start a food journal in which you log all your meals and plan out your food schedule. You can also find a digital food tracker, or diet app, that seamlessly logs your meals and provides statistics of your calorie and nutrient intake. The MyPlate and Lose It! apps are helpful tools that will keep you aware of your daily food consumption.
If you struggle to stay consistent with your workouts, sign up to a fitness program that will guide you toward your goals. You can choose an app that will keep you on track and give you daily exercises and circuits, which will build your strength and stamina. The Sweat With Kayla app provides you with a six-day workout plan that includes three sessions of resistance training and three sessions of cardio. Each session lasts around 30-40 minutes and provides step-by-step instructions so you aren’t overwhelmed. The program is designed to gradually increase in difficulty, so you don’t start the first few weeks huffing and puffing trying to keep up. You can post your progress pics onto the app, so you can have a visual record of your journey. Make sure you have a phone with a good camera like the iPhone 7 Plus so you can take high-quality progress photos, anytime and anywhere. Other helpful fitness apps include My Fitness Pal, PEAR Personal Coach and ActiveX.
Set lofty goals for yourself, that will keep you accountable. For example, if you enjoy running, sign up for a long distance run — either a 10K, a half-marathon or a marathon. Make sure you only sign up for a race that you have time to prepare for, as injuries may occur when there hasn’t been sufficient training. You could also sign up to a sports tournament, for an individual sport like swimming or for an organised sports team you’re a part of. Having an event to work towards will inspire dedication to regularly workout and will be a great source of motivation for your personal fitness and health.
Any strategies that you use yourself?!