Now the that cooler months are upon us the struggle to get out of bed can become almost insurmountable. The sound of that awful alarm and the temptation of staying in your warm bed can leave many exercise regimes in tatters. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. As hard as it can become there are several strategies that you can employ to ensure that you don’t completely fall off the wagon, so to speak, during autumn and winter.
1. Have a plan
This goes without saying for anyone that exercises regularly, but in the cooler and darker months it becomes more important than ever. Start by making life a little easier for yourself by preparing the night before. This will mean that you should do things like packing your gym bag, getting your supplies ready and if you leave straight to work from the gym than you should get your work attire and food ready as well. All of this preparation, when done the night before, reduces the number of barriers to getting to the gym in the morning.
2. Have a goal
Again, this should go without saying, but it has been proven that you are far more likely to maintain an exercise regime when you have a clear and definitive goal in mind. I have often found with my clients, that re-setting the focus by re-committing to a goal, can be enough to reinvigorate you and your attitude towards training when it all seems too easy to not bother. Another thing to avoid during winter is to focus your goal away from body composition and towards fitness, strength or health. This is because from a purely aesthetic perspective we are not showing our body off much during winter for the obvious reasons. This, believe it or not, can be a demotivating factor for training for a lot of people.
3. Find a friend
So you have a plan and you have re-set your goal but you still can’t find the motivation to get to the gym in the morning. Don’t stress, you aren’t alone. Sometimes it still isn’t enough. At this stage accountability to someone else can be enough to get you going and through this time of the year. It is very likely that you know someone that is struggling with the same issues of motivation. Spend some time talking to friends and loved ones about their situation with training and exercise and you might just find that you know someone that needs some help too. If you can connect with that someone and hold each other accountable it can be a huge motivational factor
4. Hire an Exercise Physiologist
Yes, shameless plug for my profession here. But hey, it’s true! Even if you have put the previous 3 strategies in to place it might still not be enough. There are few things that will ultimately motivate people more than money. If you are paying someone to keep you on track and you pay that person whether you turn up or not, it is extremely unlikely that you will decide to stay in bed when you have made a financial commitment. Even if it is only for the winter months and then you break away for fortnightly or monthly check ins, paying a professional to help you and hold you accountable is about as significant of a motivating force as you can get.
The take home message here is that exercising during autumn and winter can be hard. It isn’t just you, I can assure you of that. Don’t get down on yourself, just take action and have a plan. And if you need any help please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Yours in Health!