5 Ways To Stay Motivated This Winter
It's not just regular folk like us that struggle to stay active in the colder months, even elite athletes, like ex-Collingwood AFL star Chris Tarrant, need a push and a shove to get to the gym. Here are his top 5 tips for staying motivated in winter.
Training and staying motivated during winter can be both a challenge and an opportunity. A challenge because the weather is cooler and the daylight hours are less, but also an opportunity because you can continue to progress towards your health and fitness goals, while everyone else is still under the doona!
At the height of my AFL career, there were two times every year that I found I needed an extra boost of motivation to stay on track. The first was the pre-season camp when we'd spend a month in Arizona training in sub-zero temperatures, and the second was the peak of Melbourne's winter season in June/July.
Here are my top 5 tips to ensure you are looking and feeling great once the sun starts to shine again:
1. Workout with a friend or trainer
Training with a friend or personal trainer is one of the best ways to stay motivated and increase your accountability. You'll be less likely to skip a session, you'll push each other and probably have more fun achieving your goals than you would alone.
2. Watch your portion sizes
The cooler weather means we naturally reach for warm and rich foods, which is fine as they generally keep us fuller for longer, but just be aware of your portion sizes. Plan and prep your meals in advance, and consider using protein shakes or smoothies as meal replacements on the run, so you won't be tempted by greasy fast food. Making good food choices will have a positive effect on your training motivation and of course, energy levels.
3. Change it up
Doing the same thing can become monotonous and boring, and on top of the cold weather, it can become an excuse for not training. Try something new like yoga, TRX, cycle or check out your gym's class timetable for ideas. By the end of winter you will have learnt a new skill, and burnt a lot of calories in the process.
4. Winter gear
Quality leggings or workout tops will help you keep warm and look the part. I used 2XU leggings throughout my career and not only were they great in Arizona, but they made a big difference to recovery. The expense should motivate you to put your purchases to good use in the gym, as well!
5. Set a goal
Almost half of Aussies will put on a couple of kilos during the colder months. Don't fall victim to weight gain and instead, set yourself a winter goal - whether it's to lose weight, lift heavier, or to get faster. Then once summer hits, reward yourself if you reach it with a pair of shoes, a cheat meal at your favourite restaurant or a cupboard full of quality protein supplements.