As hard as it is to admit, unfortunately summer is on its way out and winter is on its way in. The days are getting shorter (and colder) and with that come a whole new set of challenges, especially with planning your winter workout program. It is a tough time of year, as the outdoors become a far less appealing option, and the increasingly wet weather can make it hard to keep the motivation levels high. Winter brings many changes, but it doesn’t mean your health and fitness has to suffer. The change in season is a great opportunity to renew and revamp not only your exercise, but also your nutrition.
Goals and planning
Going into any new season is always a challenge, and a great way around that is to sit down and do some goal planning around your winter workout and exercise program. Create a picture of how you want the next few months to play out, and write down the steps required to ensure it happens. This will give you clarity, direction and motivation to achieve a higher level of success, and means you will most likely avoid the traps that come with the various changes.
Change your program!
A great way to feel like winter is going to be over before you know it is to create a new program that will keep you motivated and guessing the whole time. It is always a good idea to change your winter workout and exercise program on a regular basis to keep it fresh, but if you (or a professional) creates one specifically for the winter season, it will allow for a fresh batch of motivation, and when you get to the end of it, the weather will be warm again!
Summer is a fantastic time to incorporate outdoor exercise into your weekly plan. As it gets colder, darker and wetter, it can be challenging to maintain the outdoor routine. If you move your winter exercise program to an indoor facility, you are entering a warm and motivating environment that will most likely be full of supportive people that can help you on your journey.
Join a team/club
If you still want to continue with a portion of your weekly exercise being outside, then I highly recommend joining a sports team. This is a great idea for a number of reasons:
- You are still getting regular outdoor exercise
- You have entered into an environment of accountability and support. The team needs you there each week to succeed
- You are surrounding yourself with a new group of similarly motivated people
All of these can only lead to positive outcomes in my opinion!
Find a training buddy
Keeping yourself motivated can be a challenge regardless of the time of year. Keeping yourself motivated on a cold winters day is even harder. The best thing you can do to add a layer of support and accountability to your goals is to find someone with similar goals and link up with them. If you have someone relying on you on a weekly basis, then you are much more likely to get up and active so you do not let them down.
Try new recipes
With the arrival of winter comes the arrival of new seasonal foods, and the opportunity to create new dishes that otherwise would not be consumed in the summer time. A great way to stay on track with your goals is to always try new recipes so that you are not only expanding your knowledge base, but also keeping things exciting and fresh. Use the colder weather as an opportunity to experiment on some new warmer dishes and consciously move away from the summer options.
Plan a getaway
Health and fitness goals are always easier to work towards if there is a specific goal attached to them, and if there were a better way to break up the winter months than a little getaway I would love to know what it was! Set a date in the diary to get away, even for the weekend, and you instantly have something to work towards.
This could be the difference between arriving at the start of the next summer in the best shape of your life, or with some work still to do. If you can find someone who keeps you accountable on a daily, weekly, monthly basis then you are all but guaranteeing that you will be on the path to success. Having someone who is responsible for designing your programs helps you with food, ensures you are exercising, and generally keeps you on the right path, then you cannot go wrong. Do some research, find the type of accountability that you are looking for, and invest in yourself. It will be the best decision you ever make.
Winter workout and exercise can be tough, but it can also be easy, it just comes down to how willing you are to tackle it head-on. If you are proactive and plan for success, then you will achieve it. If you half-commit, lose motivation and spend the colder months rugged up on the couch, then you will get to summer and be in worse shape you are now. It is up to you…how do you want 2017 to play out?
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