Heading into the depths of winter with its gloomy mornings, dark afternoons and icy temperatures can put off even the most enthusiastic gym bunnies. The temptation to rush home, cook some comfort food and slob in front of the TV can get the better of us all, but the truth is that putting the brakes on your exercise regime only leads to piling on the pounds. This complete guide to festive fitness is for all those feeling the pull of home comforts to help motivate throughout the darkest and coldest of days.
If part of your fitness regime involves plenty of brisk walking, whether it’s simply getting out on evenings and weekends or you are able to walk to and from your place of work, a cold damp day is a sure fire way to end up opting for the bus.
The Solution: A two pronged attack! Whereas before you strolled into work in a light jacket, the time has come to invest in some heavy duty clothing. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune–the main thing is that you have a decent pair of comfortable and waterproof shoes together with a warm and waterproof jacket. Arriving at work cold and wet is hardly the best start to the day, but with the right gear you can avoid this even on the rainiest of days.
Secondly, keep motivated by listening to something you enjoy on your walks. You can download all kinds of podcasts for free from popular radio shows and add them to your mp3 player, or you can create a playlist of all your all-time favorite songs to listen to.
One plus of poor weather is it pushes you to really get a move on, helping you to burn more calories with each walk!
The gym can seem like a very unappealing place during the winter months, especially when you have to go out of your way to make a trip there. Keeping motivated to visit the gym on a regular basis is one of the hardest aspects of fitness to overcome, so what can you do to keep up the routine throughout winter?
The Solution: One of the easiest ways to get out of the habit of going to the gym is by choosing a gym that’s miles away from home. Consider looking for a gym nice and close to home; preferably one you pretty much pass on your way home from work as this will help to keep you going. Working out with a friend is another way to encourage regular visits as you can both help to pick each other up on those sluggish days. Your gym will have fitness professionals on site to help people in exactly this position, so allow them to help devise a winter exercise plan tailored to your goals as this will help you to stick to a routine.
Layering up becomes a fact of life over winter and through woolly jumpers, thick coats and long chunky scarves you can often lose sight of what your fitness regime is for as you are constantly hiding under multiple layers! When you are not in figure hugging clothes, losing sight of your goals is all too easy.
The Solution: Look ahead to the warmer months by adding photos of yourself and friends in summer outfits from the summer to prominent areas of the home, especially the fridge! This will help you to stay focused and think twice about that stodgy pie!
The Christmas countdown is firmly on and this is renowned for being the worst time of year to fall off the fitness wagon. Many people feel post-Christmas blues as the decorations come down, the party season ends, back to work tasks pile up and the scales are telling us a sorry tale. Setting yourself a few fitness goals over the festive period is a great way to keep those additional pounds at bay; take a look at the fitness advent calendar that accompanies this post for inspiration!
In addition to keeping active throughout December, you also need to think about the food you are eating. Of course it goes without saying that festive treats such as mince pies, Christmas puddings and all manner of cheeses with crackers will be floating around offices and homes across the world, and a little treat is fine! A good way to help your resist scoffing a whole box of goodies at work is to prepare yourself a sensible low fat packed lunch; choose soup and crackers, couscous and salad or reduced fat hummus and pitta for a sensible yet filling lunch.
Try to remain focused in your fitness goals and be sure to enjoy those days off outlined in the fitness advent calendar to really get the most out of Christmas without having to feel guilty about your Christmas dinner! Remember that after the festive period, kicking up your fitness a notch will soon get rid of that possible extra pound and you can really concentrate on shaping up ready for the warmer months.
Beth works alongside Simply Gym and has devised the fitness advent calendar to help her stay on track throughout the Christmas period so that she can enjoy a few treats!