Motivation can be hard at the best of times. In the darkest depths of winter, it can seem nigh on impossible. Here’s our guide to making it through to spring in great shape.
Shorten your workouts
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it could mean the difference between soldiering on through the spring or stopping altogether. Imagine yourself about to head out into the dark and the rain, now tell yourself you’ll be back in twenty minutes. Accomplishing the twenty-minute mark might give you the satisfaction to do more. If not, then you’ve still done something. You might never make it out in the first place if you’re dreading the hour-and-a-half you committed yourself to at the start.
Stay at home
Another counter-intuitive at first glance, but there are great benefits to working out at home. For one, there’s no need to leave the warmth and brave the elements. It also frees up a lot more time; you can put the tea on while resting between sets, for example. And it’s time to dispel the myth that a home workout requires lots of expensive machinery kept in the garage. You can strengthen your core with a skipping rope, your legs by running up and down the stairs. The arms can literally be worked out on the couch.
Psychology is half the battle
If there is a motif to this article that the reader has sussed out thus far, it’s that a shift in mentality is needed as we come into the winter months. This means abandoning any unrealistic projects and thinking forward through to the spring and summer. There is a saying that summer bodies are made in winter. If your motivation lags, try looking at old summer photographs, or pictures of that summer destination already booked for next year. Listen to hits that remind you of summer as you exercise. Once you’ve started, the hardest part, it could be argued, is over.
Treat yourself to some new gym gear
A great way to give you that little motivational ‘push’ is to purchase some fancy new gym clothes, gear that not only looks good, but makes you feel comfortable and confident in, too. This doesn’t mean breaking the bank, either. Uppersole has affordable, high quality trainers that’ll have you out jogging before and even after dinner. Ditch the shorts, and go for a nice pair of sweatpants, a thick jacket, and some gloves.
Studies have shown that the body-clock thrives on routine, and by consistently changing your sleeping pattern you are, in effect, de-synchronising yourself. Keeping a set sleeping pattern rules out the temptation to sleep-in on weekends, as the additional hours actually serve to shock your body, making you more fatigued and less likely to workout.
On a related note, the dark nights have a tendency to make us feel sluggish and demotivated, especially in those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If this case, try exercising as the sun rises. The serotonin-injection from the natural light should help to dispel any bad moods. If there’s absolutely no way you’re going to be up that early, there’s no overstating how helpful a high-contrasted light can be, especially first thing in the morning.