As the days in the Southern Hemisphere get colder, the sunlight hours shorter and the winter coat thicker (or is that just me?) it’s getting easier to press snooze and snuggle back up in your warm bed. But summer bodies are made in winter, and whether you’re looking for a bikini body, to shake some unwanted weight or to be ready for the start of the triathlon season now is the time.
“Why wait to be great? It’s either now or too late.”
So how? Here’s my top 5 tips to keeping fit and motivated during winter (or the Monsoon season for those living in the tropics).
1. Arrange to meet a friend
When you’re accountable to someone else it makes getting out of bed easier, knowing there’s someone waiting on the corner of the traffic lights, freezing their fingers off to ride with you then you’re more likely to get up. Not letting them down is one thing, but also looking forward to catch them up (and coffee) afterwards might make you rethink pressing snooze.
2. Buy appropriate clothing
Not that we need another excuse to purchase cute active wear… But when you have suitable attire you’re more likely to A) Get moving and B) Actually enjoy it.
There’s nothing worse than riding or running with freezing fingers and toes, except maybe if it’s wet AND cold… Depending on exactly how cold it is where you live will influence just how many layers you need, but gloves and booties (or double socks) are a good way to start, warming the extremities will make you much more comfortable and if you live in the tropics a sturdy waterproof vest is vital.
3. Pick beautiful places to train
If I have to run in the cold, it’s highly unlikely I’ll do it around my neighbourhood, pounding the pavement passing house after house in suburbia isn’t very exciting. So even if it involves a short car trip I will go and run The Noosa National Park or along the Noosa River somewhere scenic and interesting.
Find a mountain and climb it, look up trail runs in your area or make a day of it and drive somewhere inspiring to walk, run, ride or swim. Better yet, book a week training vacation to Thanyapura Phuket. There you can swim, ride, run, play tennis, go to the gym or relax by the pool until your heart is content with a 365 day training program. Leave the winter gear at home though, it’s warm all year round in Thailand.
4. Stay Indoors
Totally opposite to number 3, but if it’s really cold and/or wet there are plenty of indoor exercise/training options. Think hot yoga, Pilates, rock climbing, rpm/cycling classes, gym/strength workouts, treadmill running or wind training. These are especially useful with the shortened winter days, as running in the dark before or after work isn’t always enticing or safe.
Winter could be a good time to work on strength and try something you’ve never done before, aerial yoga anyone?
5. Have a goal
You probably know by now I love goal setting, there’s nothing more satisfying than achieving something you set your mind towards. So depending what ‘makes you tick’ pick a goal, write it down or get a picture so you can visualize it, put it somewhere you’ll see it every single day and make it happen. When it’s cold and dark and you’re reconsidering getting up, think about why you started.
“Make it Happen”
And last but not least, do it because you know it will be worth it. It’s very rare you’ll get home from a training session and regret it… I can’t say the same for sleeping in past your alarm and missing out on the best part of the day. How many times do you regret that?