Winter sleep-in or gym?

RM003by Rosemary Marchese

Physiotherapist, Fitness Author, International Presenter

7 ways to beat the winter workout rut

Hit the snooze button or hit the gym? When it’s shiver material beyond the doona cover it’s easy to count reaching over to the alarm as your ‘sit-up’ for the day but your body’s not buying it. Not in the coming months anyway.  It’s true that winter has now hit in full force but it’s not the time to start putting your health last. Here are my 7 tips for making sure you keep your workouts on-track.

1. Put your training sessions into your calendar!

Use one calendar for your entire life, not several. Sit down once per week and schedule in exactly when you are going to train – lock it in! This means you have made the decision and planning happen in one hit rather than thinking about it the ‘night before’ every night. Plan for it. Put it in and forget about it until it’s time.

Don’t overthink it.

Overthinking is draining on motivation. ‘Should I go to the gym in the morning?’; ‘Oh, it’s going to be cold in the morning…maybe I should stay in bed.’ and ‘How dark is it in the morning?’ I’m exhausted just typing it…imagine what it’s doing to your willpower just putting all that into your head each day. It’s even worse if you train at night because you have all day to talk yourself out of it if it’s not in your schedule. Book your sessions in and show up.

2. Gear up!

I’m not kidding when I say overthinking it will drain you. This also goes for getting your clothes organised. Lay out your clothes, shoes and socks the night before. If you are training in the morning then get dressed into your gym gear as soon as you get up. If you’re training later in the day make sure you have everything you need packed and ready. This includes, towel, drink bottle, car keys and anything else you need!

3. Avoid muffins…and the muffin top.

Okay, maybe not all muffins are bad, but more point is you need to make sure you keep eating healthy. Making crappy food choices more often in winter will just add to sluggishness. You can’t expect to wake up energised to exercise if you’re not nourishing your body with energising foods.

4. Get enough sleep!

I’m not about to preach to you on sleep when I myself don’t always get enough, but I do try. It’s easier to wake up rearing to go to a pre-sunrise workout if you’re not sleep-deprived. Trust me.

 5. Make training and healthy eating habits, not options.

What’s the main differences between those that are fit, health and lean and trim compared to those who are not? Habits. Healthy habits as opposed to non-healthy ones. Do you want to make a habit of showing up to the gym or hitting the snooze button?

You wouldn’t choose whether or not to brush your teeth…you just do it (I hope!)…do the same with your training. Take the first four points of this list and make them your healthy habits.

6. Keep your goals in mind.

Before you know it I will hear you saying ‘I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas’ and the next few months will be gone. Think forward to what you can expect your health and fitness to be like if you don’t keep your fitness on track. Remember this…there is not one pill, not one potion or one meal that can you give you all the metabolic benefits that exercise can. Make training a ‘must-do’, just like brushing your teeth.

7. Embrace winter.

No, I’m not going mad. Personally I would choose a Hawaiian getaway any day over freezing my butt off at the snow (although I do love both), but the reality is it can be quite refreshing that our weather changes. It was only a short time ago that so many people were complaining about the hot weather. It is what it is. Don’t overthink it.

See you at training!

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