It is so easy to lose motivation to work out and eat well. When the weather isn’t great and the evenings are short all you want to do is tuck up inside in you pj’s watching Netflix preferably with a selection of easy to reach snacks. But now is the time to get yourself out of the rut and make yourself feel great. According to the mental Health Foundation, 1 in 15 of all people living in the UK suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and many more suffer with the winter blues. One of the biggest ways to tackle the symptoms of these disorders is to exercise. Get your blood pumping and your muscles moving and the long dark days wont feel quite so rubbish! So whether you just can’t be bothered to venture outside or you have completely lost your oomph to work out try a few of the following tips and get yourself back feeling great.
Find your routine
Some people find it easy to wake up super early and head to the gym, others prefer to brave the rush hour and train post work or early evening, everyone is different. The best way to stay motivated to work out is to nail your routine, make your workout a part of your day. Whatever time you prefer to train or have the ability to, make it second nature to do it. This makes it far harder to think up excuses to not go based on being busy or not having the time to fit it in. A half an hour session where you raise your heart rate and move your body is 100% better than not exercising at all.
Get a training partner
I train with my boyfriend because i can’t think of anything worse than getting up at the crack of dawn while he is still in bed, so we make each other get up and go! Find your own partner who gives you the encouragement to work-out. When i was single, I had a friend who i picked up every morning at 5am to drive to the gym. We had the best gym routine I have ever had, purely because we didn’t want to let each other down. Whether you enjoy the same training style or you go in headphones on and blast it out on your own for an hour… sometimes just getting there to start with is the hardest part.
Listen to your body
Sometimes you need to take a step backwards to be able to push forwards. The biggest thing I have learned over the past few years is to listen to the signals my body is giving me. If i am really tired and feel like I could sleep for weeks, I will forgo that days gym session and give myself the extra hour in bed. Usually my body is craving extra recovery time and telling me to slow down slightly. I would rather trade two sessions training at 50% and have one awesome session where I can give it my all having fully recovered. Don’t be afraid to miss the occasional session in order to focus on your mental health.
Set yourself a goal
Why do you go to the gym? Do you get bored of training? How can you make it last an hour without stepping on a treadmill? Just some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis and the reasons people find it hard to stick to their resolution of working out five days a week to lose some weight. The biggest downfall people have when trying to embrace exercise as a part of their lives, is not having a clear goal behind them. In order to want to keep going, it is important to have something to work towards for example wanting to improve form on a squat or wanting to deadlift 100kg, it may even be as simple as wanting to fit back into your jeans after having a baby. Each goal has a clear target, a way to measure your progress. Make sure you set yourself a realistic time frame to achieve this and ensure you are constantly re-assessing the time frame to ensure you are seeing small improvements all the time. Every small improvement will give you a massive boost that what you are doing is working and completely worth all of the effort. Once you reach the goal, don’t just sit back and admire your achievement, plan your next target and strive to better yourself.
Mix it up
I recently wrote an Instagram post (linked at the bottom of my website) about getting motivated to work-out. The key tip that works for me, is to always keep yourself excited to exercise. Lets face it, the gym is not everyones cup of tea but thats not to say the gym is the only way to achieve your goals. Get yourself outside in the fresh air with your kids, hop on your bikes and enjoy the sunshine, you will be burning calories without even thinking about it whilst encouraging your children to keep active and not sat inside on the Playstation. Try out a new class, something you can do with a few friends that becomes a weekly meet up. Learn a new skill, last year i decided I wanted to play tennis so I signed up for some lessons and used muscles in my arms and shoulders I didn’t’t even know existed and all without a dumbbell in sight. If you are enjoying yourself then you are doing it right.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
My last tip is to plan. If you turn up to work out and you make up your session on the spot, you are setting yourself up to fail. Know exactly what your session is going to be, write it down so you have zero excuses to not do it. Buy yourself a training diary so you can track your sessions and your weights so you are seeing structure and progress. The same can be said for your food. I make up a big batch of protein rich meals to split for my lunches each week. I like to cook from scratch in the evenings, which I am fortunate to have the time to do but if you don’t, make batches of things you can freeze and then defrost in advance so you don’t have to worry about not knowing what to eat and just reaching for the nearest takeaway menu. There is a way around every barrier, you just have to find what works for you.