Keeping healthy and fit is hard work. For me, though, it’s harder to function properly when I’ve overdosed on chocolate the previous day. As winter approaches, it becomes that little bit harder to get up in the mornings and leave your cosy warm house in the evenings.
Here are my tips to keeping yourself motivated through the winter. I’m not an expert, but this is what works for me. I also work with Body Clinic, so these tips are based on information I’ve gained from the trainers there, too.
Prep Your Food
The main reason I break my healthy eating regime is because the food available to me isn’t what I fancy. A salad might’ve seemed like a good idea when I was doing my weekly online shop. It’s not what I fancy come Wednesday lunch, though.
Being healthy isn’t all about eating raw, vegan or any of the other buzz words floating about. It’s about eating balanced plates. If you find tahini repugnant and salad boring, don’t buy them. There are plenty of fun foods out there that still have nutritional benefits.
Plan Your Workouts On A Sunday Night
It’s a simple one, but it’s the only thing that works for me. I slot in three workouts throughout my week. The NHS recommends that each of us should be working out for at least half an hour a day. This isn’t just high-intensity stuff, it also includes walking and getting your heart rate up.
If you plan your weeks properly, nobody is too busy to work out. You’re simply prioritising other things. This is most probably because you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Pick activities you like; badminton, trampolining, yoga etc. and stick to those.
Stretching is very important. If you attend good classes, they trainer will include stretching as part of the class. If you run or cycle, it’s easier to forget just how important stretching is. I was recommended to Romwod, a website with a whole host of stretching programmes available on it. If you aren’t regularly stretching, I’d recommend giving it a go.
It’s Not Just About Your Body
Everybody presumes that physical well-being is a direct result of what exercises you’re doing. It isn’t. If you’re not looking after yourself, your posture, range of motion and performance will suffer; not to mention your skin, weight & hair.
I know I go on about meditation in every single blog, but it’s really important. It gives you clarity and enthusiasm. It has helped push me to go to exercise or get some fresh air when I’ve felt like hibernating.
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
One bad decision doesn’t mean you’re destined to make bad decisions forever. This time of year is actually one of the most common times people fall off the bandwagon. The ‘summer push’ is over and the over-indulgent festivities are still a couple of months away. Don’t be too hard on yourself – if one day you don’t feel like a heavy workout, just go for a swim or do some light stretching.
There’s some great advice out there but also some really awful advice about punishing yourself when you eat badly. Listen to your body; if it’s tired or you’re feeling rubbish, why is that happening? Usually, if you take a bit of time to listen to yourself you can figure it out.
I’ve decided to start a 6-month programme with Body Clinic in which I workout three times per week in a small group PT format. This isn’t a paid-sponsorship or anything like that – I just want to track my progress and share my results with you. I’ll be posting regular updates on here, so please check back if you’re interested in looking at the workouts that I’m doing and the food I’m eating. I’ll add some recipes up here, too!