Winter Hibernation

It is nearly half way through the year and many people have given up on their fitness and gone into hibernation for the Winter Months. Unsurprisingly many people regret this hibernation when it starts getting closer to summer and they think about baring their white pasty legs and arms in public again. Being an ex-Victorian who moved up to the Gold Coast for the weather I am definitely not a fan of dark winter mornings or cold frosty overcast days. So I totally understand how easy it is to stay in bed nice and warm for that extra hour in the morning. But what I know to be true is that not exercising always makes me feel worse so I ensure that most mornings I still get up and do some exercise.

The disappointing part for most people is that all the work they do over the summer months is then lost over the winter months and they have to start again in a mad panic by about October. This cyclic process of stopping and starting usually gets the better of people and they give up all together; and eventually stop exercising in the Summer months too. This is the reason I can’t stress enough how important regular and consistent exercise is, regardless of the weather conditions, because the stress caused by not being consistent creates both emotional and physical problems over time.

I have put together a flexible list of ways to motivate you over the winter months:

  • Set you intention and your alarm the night before. Depending on what time you normally have to go to work it is always possible to still get an extra hour in winter if you really want to keep warm a little longer. For me I have a summer alarm of 4am and a winter alarm of 5am.
  • Train with a friend. Being accountable to someone else is huge because your friend is going to be really cranky if they are the only one training outside in the cold because you slept in !
  • If the cold is a problem for you then find somewhere warm to train. Check out your local gyms and test if they are warm in the morning but not too warm you melt. Before I opened Epic Pro Fitness I did Hot Tropical Yoga and I was totally motivated at 5am because it was warmer than my house.
  • If your normally train outside at Bootcamps or with a Personal Trainer make sure they have a backup plan when it rains. There is nothing more frustrating than being all motivated and then having sessions cancelled because your trainer isn’t organised for weather.
  • Remember that New Years Resolution you made in January when it was still nice and warm ? Chances are by June you don’t even remember what your NY Resolutions were. So just remember if you train consistently then you don’t have to make any resolution for the new year because it is already part of your lifestyle.
  • Yes when it’s cold we all want to eat more and that is our body survival system adapting to keep us warm. There is absolutely no problem consuming a little more over winter unless of course you have given up exercise. Then Houston we have a problem.
  • I hear people all the time complain that it’s too cold, too dark and too hard to get up and train. The only thing they complain about more is not being able to fit into their summer clothes. So if this is you put all the energy of complaining into action of exercise.
  • Most of us at some point over Winter get a cold or the dreaded flu. While exercising will not prevent this, I can guarantee you will recover quicker and be less susceptible if your overall health in winter including nutrition and exercise is on track.
  • If you really can’t get up in the morning to exercise then try during the day or after work. Granted I am a morning exercise person so despite all my good intentions I definitely find it even harder to exercise in the afternoon after a miserable winter day.

If you are reading this because you haven’t left the house to exercise for the past Month due to the “Winter Weather” think about what the consequences are going to be when things start warming up. If you have wanted to train but just can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning make yourself a promise to get up one morning this week, two mornings next week and three mornings the following week. The only important thing at the moment is you start because it is never too late. Don’t become a victim of poor mindset and use all those well worn winter excuses – be someone who is accountable for their choices and understands that taking action now will be the greatest reward in the long term.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Caroline. You really hit the spot with your helpful and motivating blogs. I am often ‘that person’ and guiding me gently to just do a bit today and a bit more tomorrow is perfect. Your very wise and very realistic. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and personal experiences with us all. Heading out for a winter walk now in freezing Sydney…….:)

    1. Thanks Stacey hope you enjoyed your walk ! As I always say anything is better than nothing and over time all those little activities soon add up. xxx

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