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Biscuits, hot choccy and Netflix*?
Whoa….don’t all jump at once! I know it’s tough when the temperature drops and the days get darker quicker but lady, listen up, you gotta push on through with those dark times to get your workouts done to avoid the kilos creeping up. With a little mind shift you’ll be up and at ’em in no time. it ain’t all doom and gloom *You can have the hot choccy and biscuits more so if you do the training first- catch my drift?
Winter is only 12 weeks, not decades. Winter will be over before you know it and while it may seem like a great idea to chill under your duvet till spring- you body will not love you for that (dumb) choice. It only takes 7-14 days before your aerobic fitness starts to decline and 2-3 weeks before noticeable strength gains are lost . The main problem with stopping exercise is the snowball effect it has. You miss one week, then it becomes two and so on. Winter can be the time you focus on consistency rather than significant increases in results.
If not now, when? Winter rolls up every year, so effectively, if you are going to “quit” working out every Winter that’s a significant amount of down time for your body. It’s a total mind game- Ask yourself is working out in winter really that bad? Short answer- no. Once you get started after the first 5 minutes or so, you are good! Take your workout indoors if you must. On the flip side running outdoors is perfect in Winter (especially given the humidity in Sydney)! It’s the season for it- add some sprints into your routine to get the heart racing and increase body temperature
Slow food. A large part of keeping kilos at bay is the foods we choose to eat. We need a little less of the sodge and more of the healthy winter warmers. Enter the slow cooker! Perfect for soups, stews and curries- get creative in the kitchen and have your lunches and dinner sorted for during the week. Here’s a favourite slow cooker recipe of mine. Keep soups packed with veggies and use clear broths as your base for curries and stews. Also be mindful of preparing your office snacks/lunches the night before just in case you get the urge to hit the snooze button one too many times therefore making your run late for work.
Stick to the plan. It’s wise to not deviate too much from your usual routine in winter- that goes for food, fitness and sleep. Food wise you don’t need extra calories but it’s helpful to eat seasonally, workouts don’t have to stop but can be modified and sleep shouldn’t need to be increased (so don’t make too many plans for sleep in’s!). Your body loves routine and it’s a good idea to keep it happy with whole foods, movement and the right amount of recovery and rest.
Burn baby burn. Add more interesting activities to your program. Try plyometric type exercises (jump squats, box jumps, jump lunges, burpees, knee ups, etc) You definitely will NOT be cold after adding these to your routine. As a bonus you’ll burn more calories whilst doing these types of exercise
“Cold weather makes you sick”. One of the biggest myths/wives tale’s EVER! As a trainer I hear this far too many times than I’d like. Germs make us sick not rain or wind or cold weather. This isn’t Antarctica so hyperthermia can’t come into play. Whilst it can be unpleasant training in cooler conditions be smart. If you are cycling be aware that your grip on the road may be compromised, same goes for running (puddles!). Your body may be a little more sifter in winter that’s because your muscles are working harder to get everything done you ask of it. Try adding more of a active stretching plan into your workouts (like a quick yoga series).
Venture into new territories. Get moving with fun activities that you wouldn’t usually do: Go ice skating, skiing, indoor rock climbing, squash, indoor soccer, dancing or martial arts. All can be a great way of mixing up your training whilst burning calories and learning new skills.
Timing is everything. If your attempts at the early wake ups are futile, shift your training time to evenings. Sounds simple and generally helps you maintain consistency!
How do you cope with your fitness plan during the cooler months?