It’s cold, wet…and not to mention dark – all the time. So there’s no wonder that it’s difficult to keep up a regular workout routine during winter. You are definitely not the only one who struggles to get out of bed those extra 1 or 2 hours each morning to make sure you fit in that much-needed exercise – waking up in winter is hard for all of us. Or maybe you constantly skip that after work gym-session because the dark nights draw in and all you want to do is cosy up under a blanket and binge-watch your favourite Netflix series. We all know the feeling. Winter is far away from the sunny, clear skies of Summer – and motivation to keep fit seems to be out the window. But fear not, we are here to prop you back up on your feet and shine a light on the best ways to keep up a winter workout regime to bring that brightness back into your life, as well as advice from Aaron Breckell, a personal trainer and founder of the online fitness platform ABC Fit.
The best ways to keep to your winter workout regime
Due to the change in weather, and temperature, it is important to make some adjustments within winter to your workout routine. For guidance, the following tips will help you switch your alarm to an earlier hour, make you drop that controller out of your hand and instead pick up your gym bag, and push you to exercise even when you are not feeling up to it. It’s what we all need in winter. After all, keeping active is known to boost your mood due to it realising endorphins…and we need a lot of that amongst gloomy Britain.
Fuel your body
This first point is important all year round but is especially necessary during colder months. For any workout, you need to make sure you are providing your body with the right amount of food for energy either before or after, and for those who are taking their daily exercises outside, it is particularly crucial to make sure you are consuming the right nutrients as the cold uses a considerable amount of energy to warm and humidify the air you breathe. Now we know carbohydrates stir up a love-hate relationship in many, but having a warm bowl of rice, pasta, or porridge are great choices to restore the energy lost, for example - from a run, and will also increase your body temperature back up to normal levels. A win-win option. Protein is another essential nutrient, and there are many sources of protein in foods or supplements that you can delight in, especially for a pre-workout treat as it rebuilds muscle. We can help you with this with our Fit Protein – a vegan protein blend perfect for restoring energy and supporting muscle growth.
Make the most of daylight hours
We know this one could be tricky if you work 9-5, five days a week, but despite the sombre appearance, we still need to get outside and absorb some vitamin D. If you do have a desk job, you could always try and squeeze in a run before your start, or even get in a quick session on your lunch break to help break up the day – who knows, maybe your colleagues will join you too? There’s something refreshing about tearing yourself aware from your computer screen and getting out amongst the fresh air which will ensure you become more productive in the afternoon as well.
Getting out of the house during the winter can be difficult, and if you find yourself not wanting to exercise outside, or go to the gym before or after work, then an at-home workout is the best option for you. There is a whole range of workouts you can do within the security of your 4 walls including pilates, yoga, aerobics, and even a full-body workout. If you are lacking inspiration for this, online there are plenty of YouTube videos and sites that can set out a plan for you – so instead of travelling out amongst the cold, you can do it all in the comfort of your own living and still hit your fitness goals at the same time!
Join a class
To keep on track, sometimes its best to give yourself a commitment that you can’t just easily skip – joining a class at your gym or local fitness centre ensures you are working out as part of a social community, and can therefore stick to your goals together, cheering each other on. This also takes away the need to exercise outside, where as a spin or yoga class inside is that much more appealing. What’s more, it will also provide you with the opportunity to meet new people with shared interests, as well as helping you unwind after a long day’s work.
Get a workout buddy
The winter months can be a dampener on your spirits, and we all need that friend to pick them back up off the floor. Going to the gym with a bestie, or even working out with your significant other, who has similar goals and a fitness level to you is the perfect way to stay motivated so you can support each other, keep to goals together, and have a little bit of fun along the way (we won’t tell). There’s something special about being able to keep fit with a friend – it also provides more of a need to stick to your daily gym sessions as who wants to let down a friend right?
Invest in some winter activewear
Even looking outside may bring a shiver to your spine. Exercising outside is definitely not on the top of anyone’s bucket list…even your local gym can contain a cool breeze. Therefore investing in some warm winter activewear is not just a want but a necessity. There are some incredible brands out there like Adidas that sell warm leggings and joggers and thermal jumpers and jackets, so switch up your shorts and t-shirts and cover up your skin instead.
To keep on track, you must be prepared. As simple as that…so that means planning out your week and noting down when you will go to the gym, exercise outside, or partake in a class etc. But it is also important to make sure your activewear is washed and ready to go. A winter morning routine is important - we suggest keeping your clothes next to your bed and laid out to wear when you wake up as this will increase your chances of an early morning workout before a mundane day ahead. Or, keeping it in your car whilst you work will provide you with no excuse to not pop into the gym after work. None of the ‘oh I’ll just leave it at home and get dressed there’ rubbish. We have done this many times, and once we take ourselves through our front door, we suddenly find ourselves sitting on the sofa eating the first sugary snack we could get our hands on (there’s no shame here). Planning your workout routine provides the individual with more of a want to stick to it – organised mind, organised life surely?
Switch up your playlist
This last one is not a must but will certainly help in bringing that extra sparkle. Music is an exceptional motivator and can help distract you from your fatigue. With the cold weather, you need to adapt your playlist to bring in the extra sunshine that is lacking which means upbeat hits and lively tunes. Trust us.
Extra tips from Aaron Breckell
It’s your lucky day as our motivational tips don’t stop there and we have some expert advice from Aaron Breckell – one of our Innermost athletes that has helped so many people get fit and transform their bodies through online fitness plans. Here are some of his pointers:
- Remember your “why”. Why do you want to achieve your goals? How will it impact your life? Bringing the answers to these questions to the forefront of your mind can help keep that motivational flame alight.
- Think of the bigger picture. Keep in mind that results from your workouts don't happen overnight. It takes some time, and the work we put in during the autumn and winter months are going to affect how we look, feel, and perform next spring and summer…
- Have a training plan to follow. Having structure and purpose to follow can really help us to stay focused especially when it gets colder and darker out.
- Optimise yourself and your training environment. One of my clients has a home gym set up in the garage and naturally, it gets cold this time of year meaning she must motivate herself twice as hard just to get a workout done. After some investigation, it turns out she was working out in shorts and a vest! So, she's committed to buying some heavier gym clothes (jumper and joggers etc.) And buying a small portable heater to warm the garage up making it a much more comfortable environment to work out in.
The gloomy, melancholy Winter months do not mean your fitness journey has to be put on hold until Summer, and we hope the points above have helped to bring that extra motivation needed to get your fitness journey back on track. Of course, we are not saying we can never have any rest days, but that is only once in a while, right? Let’s banish the winter blues together and throw ourselves headfirst into a winter workout routine we can all enjoy. Exercise is meant to be fun, enjoyed, and the time for this starts now. So, get up early, keep organised, and grab your fitness bag…let’s get going.