Keeping a Fitness Regime in Winter

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It can be a difficult task to remain motivated during the winter months. Cold and dark mornings can easily discourage you from getting up early to hit the gym or go for a brisk run. Coupled with the fact that the winter weather usually makes you want to eat more hearty foods which can be a little less healthy than in the summery salads, it’s a good idea to take on board any possible tips to keep a fitness regime on track and avoid any unwelcome winter body changes. Your employees have worked hard all year — encourage them not to give up now! Did you know a health cash plan with Health Shield can offer your employees discounts on gym memberships and health clubs to help with their fitness goals?

During the summer months there seems to be a natural dose of energy in everyone, but that changes in winter due to darker days and colder weather. Encourage your employees to follow some handy tips to continue their progress and ensure whilst everyone else is panicking about their beach body in the holiday season, they’ll have had a head start.

  • Welcome the change of weather and adapt to a different fitness regime. It’s another challenge to push through.
  • Get a workout buddy. Talking yourself out of a workout might be easy, but letting someone else down often keeps your motivation going.
  • Mix it up and change the routine. It’ll do your body shape good to work different muscles as well as giving some new motivation to keep attending a new class or run a new route. Even a small change like a pair of new trainers or some new workout clothing can make a difference.
  • Cut down the winter sugar. Yes it is more tempting to eat sugary foods during winter and especially the festive period, but if employees reduce their workouts slightly this is one thing to avoid. Protein helps curb hunger and keeps people feeling fuller for longer. It also regulates energy flow through the day — so ditch the sugar and reach for the protein!
  • Little and often. It’s OK not to do one big workout if you don’t feel up to it. In fact, it’s quite beneficial to do smaller amounts throughout the day. Of course people may think they might just want to get it done and out of the way but if the winter blues are really getting to them they don’t need to worry, intermittent exercise is good for them too and it all adds up.
  • Set goals. Not big goals necessarily, just some tasks that will keep them going and give them the focus to carry on.
  • Workout at home. Working out doesn’t have to entail going outside in the cold but they can still do exercise. Watching a fitness DVD or HIIT workout on YouTube can often be enough to keep in shape if it’s done a few times a week.
  • Plan a holiday. If your employees are wanting a big goal to aim for there is no better goal than their summer beach holiday. Use this as a countdown and plan workouts around it.
  • Sign up for a local charity race. They happen all year round and will give your employees something to aim for.
  • Create a new playlist. It’s surprising what new music can do for workout energy.
  • Keep it simple. OK, people may be feeling worse for wear with Christmas and New Year to get through, but exercise doesn’t need to be hard and physical. Reading a book whilst walking on the treadmill, dancing around the living room whilst vacuuming and doing the household chores or just taking the dog out for a play on some local fields. It all adds up.
  • Put pointers up around the house to keep themselves motivated. Whether it’s on the wardrobe to encourage them to get the gym clothing out and head for a workout, a note on the front door to not talk themselves out of going to the gym before work, or a goal on their alarm clock so they aren’t tempted to hit snooze in the morning. A number of people also like to use photos on the fridge whether it’s of themselves at their best or worst.

Winter doesn’t have to be a depressing time of year, these are months to embrace the weather and get a new lease of motivation for a fitness regime. As an employer why not support your employees with a fitness tracker to help keep their New Year’s resolutions?

A Health Shield health cash plan is the perfect way to compliment your employee benefits system and help your employees’ overall health and wellbeing. For more information on a health cash plan with Health Shield and how they can help your company’s absence management and employee benefits offering, visit our employers section.