Summer Bodies are made in Winter

4lifeSuffering from The Winter Blues? Well you are not alone. As the temperature starts to drop and it is cold and dark outside, it gets harder and harder to get out of bed for that morning workout. In addition to exercising less, most people also tend to eat more calorie-dense foods at this time of year – warming, comfort food. Processed, sugary, fatty foods help to increase your energy that you are lacking from not exercising that morning. But Summer bodies are made in Winter! Remember here at 4 Life Exercise Physiology we will help you get started on the right track and give you the support, motivation and care you need to hit those goals!

So what can you do about this potentially vicious cycle (no exercise, feeling tired, eating more, repeat)? Bypass Winter holidaying in a tropical paradise?

Here are our top 10 tips for keeping active through the cooler months:

  1. Goal Setting. Set yourself a target for Spring/Summer. This may be challenging, such as signing up for an event or fun run. It might be relaxing, perhaps a beach holiday. Whatever it may be, write it down! Put it on the fridge, and when your motivation drops, visualising your goal may help to keep you on track.
  2. Support. Not wanting to let your running partner down, or having a time booked for a walking group or exercise class may help you show up to that workout that you may have missed otherwise. Everyone has tough days and having people that will encourage and motivate you can make all the difference.
  3. Preparation. Be ready for your workout the night before. Have your clothes set out (including layers and gloves if exercising outdoors), ipod, water bottle and/or gym bag ready to go. This mentally and physically prepares you for exercise the following day.
  4. Up and at ‘em! Place your alarm clock away from your bed. Once you are up, you may as well stay up! Now get dressed in your workout gear that you have prepared.
  5. Change your Focus. Focusing on feeling your best and having a healthier body can create a more positive outlook on exercise than trying to shed those extra kilos. Positive thinking and enjoyment of exercise will motivate you to continue on your journey.
  6. Reward Yourself. This may be as simple as a long hot shower after your workout, or booking a massage for the upcoming weekend. You can look forward to this as a big pat on the back for completing what you set out to achieve that day/week.
  7. Get those feel good hormones pumping around your body from exercising in the morning and you will feel great for the rest of the day!
  8. Mix it Up. Avoid boredom with exercise through regularly changing your routine. Not only will enjoying your workout help to keep you on track, you will also see results faster!
  9. Plan Ahead. Plan what days/times you are going to exercise and what you are going to do, and stick with it. On your rest days, enjoy your warm bed!
  10. Create a Habit. This takes time, and generally also corresponds with breaking old, not so desirable, habits. Taking it one step at a time, day by day, new habits can be created. So stick with your scheduled workout plan!

Consistency is the real key to success. A little goes a long way. After all, creating long term positive lifestyle habits will keep you looking and feeling good through all seasons of the year. Regularly eating a nutritious breakfast, reducing stress, getting adequate quality sleep as well as getting regular exercise of course, will all contribute to a happier, healthier you. Try not to focus on all of these at once, but focus on one area until it has become habitual, then move to the next challenge.

So let’s get moving, warm up and BE A BETTER YOU!