Who’s ready for the dark mornings and even darker nights??
Yeah – me neither. Doesn’t always inspire a workout does it – especially one outdoors.
But I prefer workout in the open, and I’m trying to work out how to make the best still of outdoor workouts. Here’s my 5 tips for fitness motivation whilst smashing the winter workout blues:
1. Get kitted out
My best purchase of all time was a Uni-Qlo calf length ‘duvet coat’ as I call it, which I found when I was pregnant in the sales. I could just about fit my daughter underneath in the baby carrier in later years when we went out for our long walks in whatever the elements were throwing at us. I still love it now for those cosy winter walks – I wore it out for a walk yesterday in the crazy driving rain and felt both Snug and Smug at the same time.
Will you need to be warm? Dry? Need certain footwear to match the terrain or gear to match the activity – balaclava underneath a cycle helmet or raincoat with a peak in the hood to keep the rain off your face?
Granted some of the fitness gear can be pricey, but catch the right time of year and you can bag some bargains. That all said, some of the high street brands have their own fitness ranges these days – I quite often buy from Decathalon – it’s reasonably priced, and their clothing lasts me for a good year too!
2. Choose the location wisely.
Start planning some locations that aren’t too muddy – gravel pathways are usually a good shout for cycling, running or walking with good drainage. On road, or concrete pathways good for cycling – I’m not a fan of jogging on concrete as I used to suffer from shin splints – make sure you’ve got good running shoes for harder surfaces. Or what fitness instructors can you find online to save you leaving the house? I’ve been teaching my pilates clients online and it’s definitely helped out for those who have been shielding…and now for those who quite enjoy staying in for their workout.
3. Choose the time to work for you…
An increase in home working has meant we can work a little more flexibly, with some employers becoming more relaxed, and self employed peeps can also arrange their working day and be kinder to themselves to create the space in the diary for a lunchtime workout – some daylight and fresh air to help revive for the afternoon has huge benefits…unless a workout leaves you wanting to snooze!). Timeblock the week so you can make it happen – and sometimes paying for a course will motivate you to stick at it. Quite often with slightly cheaper rates as an incentive.
By far my winning workout situation is when I build the workout in to a part of my existing routine – lately I’ve been cycling my daughter to nursery and doing a route around the houses on the way home to clock up some miles!
4. …which leads me to strategic planning!
Make sure the type of fitness is relevant for the time of day. An invigorating, power workout in the morning or earlier on in the day will keep us mentally focussed, whilst a chilled Yoga session later in the day may help you to sleep, clear the mind and wind down. Different strokes for different folks of course so find out what works for you!
5. Workout with other people.
Nothing like some good motivation from working with a partner or a group of friends. Make fitness social. If you’re not in each others bubbles, fair enough you may not be able to do any contact sports, but team games where you can socially distance are just fun and quite often lead to a social life too. I wanted to join a rowing or kayaking club – might have to find a daytime or weekend club in winter(!), but the clubhouses quite often also have social nights.
Hope this has inspired you to research the options and talk to others about what they’re doing or enjoy. If you can get through the winter without the dark nights as an excuse not to do it, you should fall in to an easy year round workout routine