December arrives with a plethora of christmas parties, festive nights out and good old catch ups. Personally I enjoy having lots of festive fun, but with a jam-packed schedule it can be difficult to stay on top of fitness.
During the winter your body produces more fat storing chemicals (ATLPL to be precise) and you crave more comfort food (serotonin levels drop which leave us more tired and hungry) basically serving us a double whammy. Exercise offsets both of these hormones which makes it even more essential to stay active during the cold and wet winter months. Beyond obvious physical health benefits, exercise boosts your mood, reduces stress levels and decreases your risk of depression. All of which are prone to suffer the most as the nights draw in and the mornings become increasingly darker.
This got me thinking about little ways to change things up a bit and stay fit during winter; since I definitely do not want to turn into the stuffed turkey…
- Dark mornings and nights play havoc on energy levels so it’s natural to feel a dip in motivation at this time of year. The last thing you want to do is get up extra early to exercise but don’t fall into the trap of excuses
- Read about my ways to boost your energy levels and my tips to eat healthily during the festive period
- Action comes first and motivation follows. If you wait to feel motivated, it’ll never happen. Build those good behaviours day by day and before you know it habit takes over
- Schedule.. your week ahead by making exercise plans in your diary. It helps you stay accountable. Aim to get in some form of activity most days, whether that’s a gym class, walk on your lunch break or taking the stairs
- Pack up and go.. Early morning gym session? Lay your gym kit out and have your bag packed. The last thing you want to do in the morning is spend time searching for something to wear
- Fuel up.. Keep water next to your bed and drink first thing to wake you up. If you’re struggling, grab a coffee or quick snack for some energy. A banana, handful of nuts or raisins will give you that quick burst
- Jump out of bed.. 20 minutes spent deliberating about getting up? Those could be spent going for a quick run, getting to the gym or working out at home. Having done a quick 30 minutes of exercise, be showered and dressed before 9am? Now that will certainly put you in a good mood for the day
Banish the excuses.
- Sign up to classes..
- Grab a friend or gym buddy.. make plans with others and it’ll make you more accountable. You can catch up, make your workout fun and feel good after
- Too dark and cold out? Work out at home. 30 minutes and your body weight is all you need
- Busy day? Use time creatively and make sight adjustments to the day. Go for a walk on your lunch break, take the stairs, get off the bus at an earlier stop, walk/cycle to work
- Make your social plans active.. go for walks, bike ride, a yoga class, ice skating, indoor trampolining, whatever takes your fancy
Winter proof your workout.
- Try a new activity, sport or class… avoid becoming stagnate by changing things up
- Embrace the cold.. by trying a winter activity. Get outdoors, countryside walks, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledging…
- Invest in new workout gear.. nothing says new motivation like a new piece of kit. Get the right gear and layer up. Once you start moving you’ll warm up
- Workout at home.. if you can not face going outside. With a plethora of YouTube videos and workout apps you can do almost anything from the comfort of your living room
- Motivation.. update your playlist and grab a friend to up your motivation
For more tips for health and wellness over winter check out my other posts:
Let me know if you would like any specific workout or nutrition tips