Dark mornings, short days and cold temperature – yes, winter is among us. I don’t know about you but I really struggle with maintaining a routine of healthy living in the cold months. I love snuggling under my blanket, watching rubbish on TV and eating my weight in chocolate. In the past, the winter months are a time when I become a social hermit and hardly see my friends because I just dislike the wet, ugly weather. That never has a positive effect on the mindset. This year, I am working towards enjoying the winter because it is a part of life and becoming a couch potato is not a good use of my time! Here are some of my techniques I am using to keep myself motivated to stay fit and healthy this winter.
Set a goal
It can be easy to want to throw in the towel and be aimless in the winter. Setting goals for the winter months and easy steps to achieve them will keep you on task to have a productive and fulfilling time. I have set myself a fitness, mental health and nutritional goal for the next 3-4 months. I want to master my handstand, something I have been long working on and off. Hold yourself accountable for it by tracking what you are doing to achieve the goal – hopefully this will keep you motivated. Goals do not have to be directly fitness related but anything that will keep you happy and energetic in the winter.
I was thinking the other day that winter is a blessing, just as the summer is. There is beauty to be found everywhere if you let yourself look for it. Grab a walking guide and find a route that you can do in your local area that exposes you to the nature and surroundings. This is a good way to get outdoors as well as getting some exercise in.
Feeling cold is often an excuse we make of not leaving the house or getting up to do our normal routine – another unhealthy habit if it goes on for too long. Make sure you have appropriate clothing to keep you warm. Invest in a couple of good, thick jumpers and the cold won’t stop you from living your life!
Winter months have our bodies yearning for vitamin D which we just will not find in the sunlight we get. Make sure you are taking the recommended dose of 10ug per day to help your levels remain adequate. Low vitamin D can leave you feeling tired and in a low mood, something we definitely do not want to experience even more of in the dark winter days.
Be mindful and plan as many social gatherings as you can to keep yourself in touch with family and friends. It does not involve running outside in the cold. Why not take it in turns to cook a dinner party every fortnight? Laughter over some hearty food is an awesome way to spend the winter. On the topic of loneliness, the winter is also a horrible time for our elderly loved ones and neighbours who may not have much family – grab an old board game and keep them company one night.
There is nothing wrong with staying indoors because let’s face it, who wants to be roaming the cold all day every day. My workouts will mostly be at home this winter and I am making sure I feel motivated by kitting out appropriately. I am getting myself a lovely new, soft exercise mat as well as upgrading some of my workout gear. There is so much we can get from staying under the blanket: reading, knitting, planning holidays in the sun, speaking to friends on the phone. Let’s try to use our time indoors in a positive way.
I hope you found these tips useful. I would love to hear how you spend your winter and what you do to stay fit and healthy!