How To Stay Motivated And Avoid That Winter Fitness Fail
How To Stay Motivated And Avoid That Winter Fitness Fail16/02/2016 By southbeach
No doubt about it, winter has well and truly set in. South Beach babes don't slack: we know that! The real challenge over the next few months is deciding between freezing your butt off – or working on it! We can all have a rough time tryna get pumped about running in the rain, or sweating it out at the gym... when we really just want to curl up in the foetal position with chocolate and a box set.
Deep down, we all know fitness is its own reward. Once you're doing it, you feel great! But how do you get yourself out of a fitness rut to keep on truckin' when it's cold and dark? We talked to some of our favourite fitness bloggers about how they motivate themselves to work out in the winter.
First up is our girl Carly Peart of carlyrowena.com and YouTuber extraordinaire! See her fab channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Carlyrowena/featured
Carly, what do you tell yourself to convince yourself to work out when it's cold and rainy outside?
"I think about the person I would like to be and remind myself of how incredible I feel once I've finished my workout. Think of all those nights out you never felt like going to that then turned out to be the best nights ever, that workout you don't want to do could be just that!"
What key tools do you use to motivate yourself in the winter?
"Winter fitness for me is all about keeping warm and not taking too long in the gym so for that reason I love apps like PumpUp or NTC fitness which are similar to having your own iPhone-sized personal trainer. The workouts are timed which means you can get in, sweat and get out knowing that you kicked butt. I'm a huge Spotify fan as music is my biggest motivator. If I know it's going to be a tough week or I have lots of early mornings, I'll spend an evening creating an epic new playlist or searching for ready-made playlists to push me through those last few reps."
Do you have any top routines that get you really pumped for a winter workout? A particular exercise you feel is really suited to winter?
"January is always a busy time for the gym so I try to make routines using little equipment and space. TRX bands or kettlebells are awesome for this – there are so many exercises you can create in next to no time and are so easy to recreate at home."
Does your diet change during winter? If so, how? Does this affect your workout?
"I'm always so much hungrier during the winter and generally you crave more carbs. I 100% recommend investing in a slowcooker to make hearty meals that keep you warm and are always ready so you can dive into a bowl as soon as you get home. My go-to meal at the moment is either a healthy chilli or sweet potato soup!"
What's the best thing about working out in winter?
"Working out in winter brings me happiness as I know how incredible I'll be feeling in summer when I have to pop on a bikini. Plus there is always a little less to do in the winter, so what better way to socialise with friends or meet new people than getting sweaty in the gym?"
Aside from the obvious fitness and strength benefits, what else motivates you to keep fit during winter? Is it looking good? Mental health?
"For me it's all about feeling happy, the endorphins I receive from exercise keep me going when I'm tired, or it's been rainy for days and I just want to see the sun. There's something about surrounding yourself with people who are trying to improve themselves in one way or another, it's incredibly inspiring."
Any other opinions, tips and thoughts you want to share?
"Don't think of it as a destination, think of it as a journey. There's more to life than being a number on the scale or size in a shop, it's all about enabling you to do everything you've ever dreamed of."
Thanks for the wise words, Carly!
Next, we picked the brains of superwoman Julia Buckley (juliabuckleyfitness.com) on what she finds tough in winter, and how she powers on through it. Her PMA is mega inspiring!
This is her manifesto for making the right choice in the face of the blah weather:
"On every cold, dark winter morning, you have a choice.
"You can choose to wake up and think about how cold it is outside of the bed, how much nicer it would be to stay cocooned in the comfort of the warm soft sheets, recoiling at the effort it's going to take to exercise. We can all do this and more to make getting out of bed seem a thoroughly miserable prospect for ourselves.
"We can choose that. Or we can choose something else.
"You could instead choose to focus on what a fantastic gift you're about to give yourself by exercising and how amazing you're going to feel afterwards. You could remind yourself that, after just a few minutes of exercising, you'll get that rush of endorphins pumping into your brain infusing you with positivity and energy.
"You could get excited about how, after the exercise is finished, you'll get those satisfied, relaxed, proud feelings that can often stay with you all day. You could looking forward to spending the day knowing that you've taken another step towards your training goal.
"Given that, one way or another, you'll eventually have to get up anyway, whether you feel miserable about it not, doesn't it make sense to focus on the positive and take actions that will make you feel good for the rest of the day?"
Now, if that doesn't convince you, we're not sure anything will!
We also had a good ol' chinwag with the smokin' pair from My Cotton Tales (mycottontales.com), Sylvie and Steph.
How do they step up to the plate and stay inspired?
"Cold, dark nights aren't always the best combination for fitness, but for me winter is the opportunity to work towards my summer body goals and take care of myself. It might seem strange, but I actually prefer working out in the crisp evenings of winter as I find the summer air to be really suffocating! I love going for a runs in the dark with the twinkling street lights mapping my way.
"To stay motivated, I always treat myself to some great winter active wear such as running gloves and jacket. The best thing to do in winter is wear layers that you can strip off when you being to sweat and get warm! If it's raining, head to a yoga class and work on your body and mind in the comfort of the studio; it's amazing how much it clears your headspace as well as giving your muscles the attention to strengthening and stretching they deserve.
"Setting goals such as wanting to feel confident and look great are definitely the best inspiration over winter! Using kettle bell swings which firm your butt and sculpt your shoulders is my favourite party-dress exercise ever - make sure you engage your core! Of course it can be hard to avoid temptation of stodgy comfort foods, but making healthy alternatives of your favourite meals is easy! For example, replacing pasta with courgetti massively reduces the calories of your meal while also being low in carbs and high in vitamins."
"You might think me mad but I also love those cold dark nights as I enjoy nothing more than getting all wrapped up and cosy in my fleecy hat, jacket and gloves and going on a nice long run around the local park, taking in the beauty of all the night lights as I jog by. I find this is the perfect way to help me de-stress as I find it so therapeutic.
"If running isn't your thing, getting hot and sweaty in the gym is also super satisfying when it's freezing cold outside and your looking out through the steamy windows of the gym onto the picturesque white frosted lawn outside."
Hasn't that just about changed your mind about winter workouts? Sounds positively charming!
Now all that's left is for you to get up and at 'em. Go, go, go!