The winter weather can be a real deterrent to working out. It’s colder, it’s darker and we need to wrap up warm, so it is easy to feel that a cosy evening on the couch will be a lot nicer. With the additional pressure of festivities, it is easy to eat everything and skimp on the workouts all with a simple ‘ah well it is Christmas!’ However, winter is the most important time to get your sweat on, so now if time to kick your excuses and get moving.
If you have noticed you’re craving carbs recently, you wouldn’t be alone. As the days get shorter, the lack of sunlight reduces serotonin that you need for mood regulation. A shortage of serotonin, therefore, leaves you feeling tired and hungry. Straightaway your brain triggers you to crave the comfort of carbohydrates. By craving carbs (and acting on them), you are more than likely consuming an extra 200 calories a day minimum (and up to 800). Research has shown that exercise will help you combat these winter woes.
Finding the motivation to go out and exercise can be challenging, but if you want to beat the winter slump and weight gain, here are some tips to get you going. First of all, dress for the occasion! If you don’t have any season-appropriate workout clothes, going out to buy some new clothes will act as a motivation to ensure you use them. Secondly, warm up before you go. If you are planning on an outdoors workout, warm up whilst still in the house. If you need to travel to the gym, warm up before you go and keep warm on the journey. Additionally to the everyday benefits of warming up to prevent injury, getting the blood flowing and warming yourself up will help you fight the cold. Thirdly, get a workout buddy to help you maintain your workouts throughout the winter. This will keep you accountable and provides a distraction from the cold. You can go and get a warming coffee post-workout and also the social activity will help increase serotonin to beat the winter blues.
If you really can’t face braving your usual workout, whatever the reason, then try something new that you’ve always wanted to do. Anything from a new route to a new class will help you to change up the routine. Even if you end up disliking it, it is a new experience and your workout is over and done with, but you may also discover something you love. It is easy to find a new workout in summer when you can change the location, the activities and the classes, but it can be a lot harder in the winter. If you hit the gym for your workouts then try a different program or different equipment, or you can opt for a home workout instead. For inspiration for both at home and at the gym workouts, take a look at the many programs we have available.
Finding the motivation to workout in the winter can tough, but it is hugely beneficial. To maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout winter (especially the festive season) it is important to maintain a healthy diet and workout. However, additionally in the winter months to keep the feel-good hormones in play, refuel yourself with warming foods, socialise and allow time to relax and indulge.