At Health Shield we know that it can be difficult to stay motivated and stick to your fitness regime over the winter months. The dark mornings and the cold weather are not exactly morale boosters, and one of our long term goals is to improve the health and wellbeing of as many people as possible. We thought we’d provide you with a few tips to guide you through the rest of the winter without losing what you worked so hard for all summer.
When it’s still dark outside and you have a 6am alarm set to go for an early morning run or gym class, you really need to be in the right mind-set to not hit the snooze button.
So what can we say to help inspire you?
- Train for an event – there is nothing like a short-term goal to keep you focused. Sign up for a local run or triathlon so you have something to work towards.
- Set a goal – if you want to lose a few pounds or reduce body fat, use incentives if you need to. The classic trick is to keep a photo close by to remind you of what you want to achieve. This could be a photo of your target weight or of a particular item of clothing you want to look good in.
- Focus on the benefits – write down all the ways exercise adds to your life e.g. managing stress levels and feeling good about yourself and read it when you need motivation or you’re tempted to miss a fitness class.
- Get a personal trainer – these can get quite expensive, so if you can’t afford one, join a local fitness class instead.
- Embrace the cold – it’s better than you think to train in the colder weather, just make sure you have the right clothing to keep you warm and if it’s dark wear some reflective clothing to make sure you can be seen.
- Reward yourself – when you reach a goal make sure you treat yourself. Obviously this doesn’t mean with cake or an extra pint after work, that defeats the object. Buy some new exercise gear and show off that reformed physique, and remember to tell yourself well done!
- Use a fitness tracker to monitor your progress. If you see yourself getting better at what you do as well as looking better you will feel inspired to keep going. There are lots of wearable tech and fitness apps on the market now to track your progress, steps, what you eat and even your sleeping patterns. They are great to keep you motivated and help you work towards your goals.
- Look the part – be proud to wear your workout gear and make sure you have a good pair of trainers that fit well as they can often prevent injury.
- Try a new exercise or class – sometimes it can get boring doing the same thing each time you exercise and can lead to a lack of motivation. Trying something new is good for working different muscles and being in a group fitness class can increase your energy and give you new motivation.
- Upbeat music – listening to the right music is key to keeping you focused and motivated, so create a good playlist or download some workout albums.
- Plan your holiday – whenever you book to travel, use it as your motivation. It might be an event too – a wedding perhaps that you want to get in shape for.
- Your pets can inspire your exercise routine – it doesn’t matter how you might be feeling, your four legged friend needs their exercise too, so whatever the weather grab the lead and get walking.
- Exercise with friends – being with a friend or partner can motivate you to run that little bit extra or do a few more circuits, so try and work out with someone at least once a week so you both push each other to reach those goals.
- Take advantage of the weather – if it’s a dry and sunny day, go out for a walk or a run and make the most of the nice weather!
- Get into a routine – it will be tough at first, but once it’s part of your routine it’s much easier and you’ll feel guilty if you don’t stick to it!
If you’re a member of a health cash plan with Health Shield, then staying fit and healthy will be even easier. There are gym membership discounts, health and wellbeing treatments as well as a PERKS reward portal which offers exclusive member discounts.