Tips for staying motivated this winter
When the temperature drops, it can be very
tempting to spend your time rugged up on the couch, watching TV and indulging
in comfort food. While it might feel more challenging to get up, get moving and
eat a balanced diet, it’s just as important to maintain a healthy lifestyle
throughout winter as it is in the warmer months.
Here’s how to stay motivated to be healthy and
One of the tricky things about being sedentary
is that it often happens before we even realise what’s going on. This is
because many of us don’t actually keep track of our activity levels throughout
the day, so it’s never at the top of our minds. Using a wearable step tracker,
whether it’s a Fitbit or pedometer, is an excellent way to track the number of
steps you take in a day. While step count isn’t the only metric for measuring
how active you are, it is an effective way to keep track of general movement. A
goal of 10,000 steps is generally considered sufficient to stay active,
however, if you’re quite sedentary you might find it helpful to set a goal a
little bit lower and work your way up to 10,000 over time.
in the morning
While it might seem counterintuitive to
exercise in the mornings when the temperature tends to be a bit lower, this can
be one of the best times to squeeze in a walk, stretching session or workout.
This is because by the time it gets to the afternoon, we might be feeling tired
from the workday or stressed and just want to stay home and relax. By using the
morning to exercise, you’re making sure that you’re squeezing in a bit of
exercise before your day gets too busy or overwhelming. Plus, a nice warm
shower afterwards is a great way to reward yourself for your efforts, warm
yourself back up and prepare for the day ahead.
Getting together with friends is a great way
to make exercise more fun, but it can also help you to stay accountable with
your fitness, healthy eating, stress levels and sleep. This is particularly
effective if you can recruit someone in your household, whether that’s your
partner, housemate or sibling, but having anyone in your daily life that can
support you will be helpful. You can even ask someone to be your
“accountability buddy” and check in with them every day to see whether you’re
both on track with your goals. Alternatively, you can always recruit the help
of a health professional, for example, a dietician or personal trainer who can
provide guidance and accountability.
Making healthy choices is difficult when our
energy levels and willpower are low, for example on your lunch break on a busy
workday or at the end of a particularly tiresome day. One of the best ways to
stay on track during these times is to plan in advance. This can include
scheduling in some workouts during your week, making a meal plan and preparing
food in advance. If you’ve taken the time to plan and prepare, you’re more
likely to feel motivated and stick to the plan. Even small actions, like laying
out your workout clothes at night in preparation for your morning walk can go a
long way to making staying healthy less effortful.
up on supplies
Often the winter months call for some special
purchases. There’s no need to spend a fortune, but having a few things on hand
to make sure that you’re warm and comfortable can make a big difference to your
motivation. Warm clothes to exercise in are a good start - some long sleeve
tops, thick socks and a nice warm jacket are a good start. Basic skincare items
such as lip balm, moisturizer and lubricating eyedrops can combat the dry skin
and eyes that often come with exposure to the cold. If you’re exercising in the
gym, make sure to carry and use hand sanitizer, as germs are easily contracted
through sweat and winter tends to be peak cold and flu season.
sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D
While we get most of our essential vitamins and
minerals through our diet, we actually get most of our Vitamin D through
exposure to sunlight. If you’re spending lots of time indoors, you may be at
risk of developing a deficiency or failing to reach optimum levels of this
essential nutrient. To get enough Vitamin D, try to get out and spend 15
minutes or so in the sunshine every day, or speak to your Capital Chemist about
whether a supplement may be right for you.