As the weather gets colder and wetter, it can be so much harder to motivate yourself to get out the front door – especially when it comes to your workout. So what can you do to make exercise easier on a cold winter’s day? Here are some of my top tips:
1. Plan ahead
The night before a workout, I take a few minutes to map out my workout and be as specific as possible. For instance: 20 minute run on treadmill, 15 minutes on the X-trainer, 20 minutes strength training and 5 minutes of stretching. There are also some great iPhone apps that will do this for you like Nike Training Club or TRX Force, so all you have to do is log on and follow the workout provided.
2. Buy a gadget
After running and exercising five to six days a week for as long as I can remember, I’m not afraid to admit that I still find it difficult to motivate myself on a cold, dark morning. Which is why little gadgets like the TomTom Runner can be an exercise saviour.
Available in various colours, mine pink and grey, the TomTom Runner does more than time your workouts; it also measures how far you’ve run or walked, tells you your current pace and average pace, plus once you’ve finished your workout tells you how many calories you’ve burnt and how many strides you’ve taken. There’s a lot to take in, but despite all the data feedback, it’s incredibly easy to use.
Yes, since being pregnant I have had to stop running but that’s not to say I don’t use the watch anymore. Instead I use it on my weekly walks, and set myself motivating tasks like walk for 5k, walk for 1 hour or walk until I have burnt 300 calories. It’s nice to aim towards something as you hit the road, and I love seeing my progress on a live pie chart that alerts me when I have covered 50%, 90% and 100% of my target.
3. Bribe yourself out of bed
On the mornings that I really struggle to get out of bed, I bribe myself with thoughts of my favorite things. For instance, a pre-workout breakfast, a yummy post-workout smoothie, a quick catch up episode of some trashy TV, or the promise of a hot bath after my workout. That one always works!
4. Do something you like
Exercise that is not enjoyable will not get you out of bed. The gym isn’t for everyone, so if you like walking, cycling, yoga or swimming (you get the idea), make it part of your morning plan and look forward to it.
5. Focus on how it feels
When I am laying in bed debating whether to get up or not, I remind myself how amazing I feel after a workout. I also remind myself how it feels when I skip a workout, which is usually sluggish and yuk!
It’s true – the hardest part of exercise is just doing it. Afterwards you’ll feel totally invigorated!
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