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Ways to stay motivated this winter

Ways to stay motivated this winter

Staying motivated MAIN

The Christmas decorations have gone and January is well underway, so it’s time to settle back into your routine. Or maybe you’re looking to carve out a new one for the New Year?

Either way, it’s still winter – which ultimately means dark nights and drizzly mornings topped with a lingering chill in the air; not ideal for motivation.

Yes, staying motivated in winter can be much more difficult than usual. Fact. But it’s also true that exercising through the cold, dark months gives our immune system and mood the natural boost it needs.

So with that in mind, here are some top tips to keep you going…

Set goals

What do you want to achieve? Outline what it is you want to work on and keep reviewing this throughout the year.

Right now your goal may just be to simply move that little bit more. Then, in a couple of months’ time, your strength and balance may be top of the agenda. Working towards a goal will help keep you motivated.

Remember, you don’t have to do all of this alone! Discuss your health and fitness goals with a professional, whether that be your doctor or the fitness instructor at your local leisure centre or gym who can provide the right advice and support on exercise and nutrition.

Stay organised

Whether you prefer to get your workout in early doors or at the end of the workday, staying organised will make you much more likely to stick to what you’ve got planned for the day ahead.

Lay out tomorrow’s outfits and pack your gym bag with everything you know you’ll need, right down to your headphones and smart watch… and not forgetting your water bottle to keep you hydrated.

Have lunch packed and ready to go the night before and pack all the snacks! If you’re heading to the gym straight after work, most likely you’ll be hungry and lacking some energy. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-balanced snack… it could be just the little motivator you need to get yourself to the gym after a long day!

Be kind to yourself

Accept that there will be a time where your workout schedule doesn’t go to plan. Life happens. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.

Can’t make it to the gym today? What about a walk around your local park with a friend? Maybe try a 15-20 minute hit at home following a free workout online. Do more stretching! Especially in winter. Our muscles and joints contract to help keep us warm making them tighter and can leave us feeling a little stiff.

Stretching even when you’re not at the gym can help maintain and improve your range of motion. Not only that but stretching is also a great way to calm the mind through repetitive and focused movement. So don’t overlook the small stuff… it all counts.

Rest and recharge

It’s all about balance. Take time out for self-care activities that will help you to relax and recharge. Like with your exercise routine, self-care should be time spent dedicated to you and also enjoying something that makes your heart and mind happy.

Self-care is personal to you; it can be time spent away from your phone to be with friends and family or exploring new places. It could be seeking comfort in a good cuppa listening to your favourite playlist or getting lost in a book or a creative activity.  

Whatever self-care looks like for you, prioritising time for yourself can help you reset for a productive week ahead.

Staying motivated throughout winter is a challenge and the start of a new year can bring about added pressure to make unrealistic resolutions.

Instead, make the start of 2024 about setting achievable goals, keeping organised and being kind to yourself.

Practising these small habits can help can set you in good stead for the rest of the year when it comes to your health and fitness goals.

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Posted on Tuesday 2nd January 2024

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