We have all been there, a dark cold winter morning or evening and the motivation levels for training are on a serious decline. This is a common problem in the winter months, and it is a natural response. The loss of social interactions and cravings for rich calorie dense foods add to the problems of keeping yourself on track to reach your respective training goals.
The worsening weather conditions and shorter days all have an overall influence on the body and in some circumstances can lead to the development of seasonal affective disorder. Serotonin and melatonin levels (neurotransmitters) may shift, affecting overall mood and serious prolonged changes may cause depressive symptoms.
Regular participation in exercise and training can be a great way to help prevent these problems from arising. We have provided 6 of our golden rules to help you throughout these winter months.
1) Set Goals – having something to aim towards will make you accountable for your training. Make sure it is measurable, meaning that you can distinctly say if you have achieved it, is also vital. This provides direction for training and make sure to reward yourself once you have reached your goal. Don’t be scared to ask for help, having someone externally like a trainer or gym buddy will only enhance the likelihood of you accomplishing your goals.
2) Train with others – training doesn’t have to be boring! Nothing is better than getting a SWEAT on with some mates. Social interaction is a great way to keep yourself motivated and interested within your training.
3) Plan ahead – Simple things like taking your gym gear to work or getting everything ready the night before may seem like a small act but will inevitably have a large impact on your overall likelihood of sticking to your exercise regime.
4) When it’s sunny, get outside – Vitamin D levels will become reduced during the winter months, so when it’s sunny get outside and recharge those batteries. Get those endorphins flowing and enjoy the process!
5) Try new sports – Winter opens up the opportunity to get involved in many other sports and don’t be scared of trying something new!
6) Same nutrition rules apply = cals in vs cals out. Feel free to go out and enjoy yourself, just retain the basics. If you’re trying to lose weight, just remember calorie deficit! Eat to fuel yourself, this will be an essential part of your training. A varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals is particularly crucial to take care of that immune system, allowing yourself to stay fit and healthy.
We recommend that if you are struggling to stay active during these Winter months then get involved with some sort of structured training. Group training provides a great social and fun environment to train. If you’re looking for something more personal, then 1 on 1 training may provide a better option. Get out there and enjoy yourself, don’t let these winter months slow you down!