It’s getting dark in the mornings and the evenings at the moment, and we are starting to feel a winter chill in the air. Cold and dark conditions can make it really hard to find the motivation for your regular walk, run, cycle etc. Here’s our tips on how to try and combat this, and keep the exercise schedule on track over the winter months:
Are you Comfortable?
Are your exercise clothes and shoes comfortable? I don’t know about you, but if something isn’t comfortable, I tend not to wear it. There is a huge range of exercise gear on the market at the moment, so why not shop around and find something you enjoy wearing?
Get everything ready the night before
Have your (warm!) layers out, and also a light rain jacket or hat in case it’s wet. Make sure your iPod is charged, headphones handy, and your water bottle is full. Then when the alarm goes off and the brain is still fuzzy, there’s no need to think, as everything is all ready for you to pull on and get out the door!
Know where you are going
You want to make sure your morning or evening route is somewhere reasonably well lit, safe and accessible. Do your research beforehand, websites like MapMyRun can help with finding local routes around your location. And don’t forget to change it up, going the same way everyday can get boring. Even if you walk the same route in the reverse direction.
Do it with a friend
Just imagine: your alarm has gone off, it’s cold and dark but you’ve stumbled out of bed, pulled your shoes on and made it to the corner where you meet your exercise buddy…..and they’re not there. You wouldn’t do it to them, and they shouldn’t do it to you, so if you have a buddy, there’s extra motivation to turn up on time!
Join a local walking/running/cycling group
Again, it’s easier to get out of bed if you know a group of people will be waiting for you. Plus it saves you the hassle of trying to work out a route, as they will have done it for you.
Finish at your favourite cafe!
Go on, you’ve earned it. Get that (trim) flat white in hand, and wander off into the distance satisfied you have done your daily activity, regardless of the time of year!
Nothing recharges the batteries like spending time in nature. Find a local park or nature walk, team up with a friend and get moving (in daylight hours, for safety).
Try Something Different
Change things up and have a go at something different. Always go walking? Try a gentle swim. Always run the hills? Try a cycle instead (just remember to check with your doctor first).
Hopefully these tips will help you stay on target for your winter exercise program, and the days will slowly start to lengthen again into spring before we know it!