Cold weather, dark skies and short days can be enough to make even the most hardcore fitness fan want to skip the workout, hibernate under duvets and curl up with something warm and comforting.
Don’t risk ruining the routine you worked all summer to predict and use the winter to really shift your training up a gear and fuel your motivation.
There might be days where extreme weather stops you from getting out there but on the days that you can, channel that energy into beating your own personal bests, strengthening your core and really getting yourself ready for the warmer weather.
Here are a few tips to help you really make the most of winter training:
Have the right kit
There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. If you are planning on doing some outdoor training, you need to make sure you have the right clothing to keep you warm and comfortable.
This means thermal gloves, headbands and leggings. Don’t underestimate the power of running or training in enertor base layers. These will trap a layer of warm air against the skin and wick away any moisture.
You also need to be aware that visibility might not be as good in the winter months, and fog and mist can descend quickly. If you are out, even in the daytime, make sure you have reflective or high visibility clothing and perhaps a head torch.
Sometimes, it might be just too cold or too icy and dangerous to go outside, so dig out that treadmill from the garage or head to the gym for some indoor training.
Even if you don’t have access to expensive training equipment or the gym, you can do a workout at home with items found around your house.
You can also find a vast range of workouts for free on YouTube to suit all abilities and fitness levels.
Remember how effective winter training can be
Research has suggested that once you have got used to the blast of cold, your body actually burns fat quicker and more effectively than in warmer temperatures.
Your body raises its temperature to keep you warm and begins to burn any pockets of brown fat, so if you’re trying to lose some weight, the colder weather may actually be helpful!
Find yourself a training buddy
Have a buddy or an exercise buddy on call for those times when it is too tempting to stay in bed and forget the training. It’s harder to let someone else down that it is yourself, so it makes for an excellent motivational tool, as well as making training sessions just that little bit more enjoyable.
Remind yourself why it is important
When you’re all warm and cosy in bed, it can be easy to forget why you are training and the feelings of euphoria and adrenaline that come after a good workout.
When you are exercising, your body releases feel-good hormones – serotonin and norepinephrine – which will help blast away those winter blues and the stress of the festive season and new year.