The Winter Exercise Blues
It’s 6 am and the sun is barely peering over the horizon. There is frost on the grass and your alarm is jangling rudely at you. Your body is telling you to curl up a little tighter, pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep. Just a little longer, just one more round of the snooze button. But as you lie there you begin thinking about your goal, the promise you made to yourself to get out of bed and exercise.
But it’s so hard!
Winter is here and we all know that means falling into the trap of snuggling in bed, comfort food eating, and wearing baggy sweaters and jeans that hide everything. And while it feels good during the winter months, what happens when spring rolls around and that nice summer dress you love just doesn’t fit the way it used to, or you can’t run as far as you once did?
This winter, don’t let those dreary months get to your thighs. Just remember: a little effort now means that while everyone else is sweating in spring, you’ll already be at your goal weight and wearing the dress you love.
MOTIVATION IS THE KEY:
1. Set a goal with an end date. Having something to work toward with a specific time frame can help keep you motivated to stay on track.
· It doesn’t have to be a weight goal. It may just be as simple as getting out of bed at 6 am and moving for an hour.
· Set mini goals within the goal and tick them off. The feeling of accomplishment always helps you stay on track.
· Keep in mind that nothing happens overnight and failure one day doesn’t mean giving up. You can always try again tomorrow.
2. It takes 21 days to start a habit, so hang in there for 21 days. Waking early or just simply being active will soon become routine.
· Count down the days beginning at 21 and working your way back to 1. By the time you hit 1 you won’t even think about it anymore!
· If after 21 days you still can’t stay motivated, try again. After all, it’s only three weeks!
3. Print out motivational quotes to keep you going. A new one each day is sure to lift your spirits when it’s cold and dark outside:
· Stick them to your bathroom mirror
· Add them to your wake up reminder on your phone
· Place them in your diary
4. Purchase some awesome sports clothes that you want to wear and make wearing them an excuse to get yourself up early.
5. Most importantly - make it fun.
· Exercise with a friend
· Get competitive
· Start small and build up. Make it a game to always better your last effort.
ROUTINE IS GOOD BUT MIXING IT UP MAKES IT INTERESTING:
1. Do 30 minutes of interval training. Alternate 30 second sprints with 90 second walks for half an hour. Did you know that short bursts of intensity elevate adrenaline, which helps to burn fat?
2. Skip. In fact, 10 minutes of skipping is equivalent to 30 minutes of walking.
3. Strength training not only burns fat but builds muscle. Try push-ups, squats, lunges, bicycles and mountain climbers. Research online about different techniques and build your skill level.
4. Stairs are not only a great cardio workout, but they’re convenient if you have them in their own home.
5. If the weather keeps you indoors try a Pilates or core workout DVD. They are readily available online and are a great way to help flatten that flab.
Why not invite a few friends over for a few laughs and do your workout together? When the cold weather steals your motivation, when all you want to do is laze around, just remind yourself you aren’t going to get the body you want by sitting still on your buns!
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