SHAPING UP: Finding ways to get motivated now that it’s getting darker and colder

Struggling to maintain the exercise routine you managed to perfect in the summer months? You're not alone!

"Reward yourself with a new book perhaps."
"Reward yourself with a new book perhaps."

Getting yourself into the gym or heading out for a run on cold dark mornings and equally dark evenings takes a lot more motivation than it might do in July.

Here’s five of my top tips to help you stay in shape now the temperature has dropped and the days are shorter.

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HAVE AN ANSWER FOR EVERY EXCUSE

We all give ourselves reasons to not exercise. My favourite is “it’s too cold/windy for running”.

If you find yourself making these excuses, you need to flip your mindset.

Think of all of the positive things that will happen if you go for your run.

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Think how good you feel afterwards; de-stressed, re-energised, more focused, better productivity.

The benefits of exercise are endless. Just focus on the positives, wrap up warm and get out there!

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REWARD YOURSELF

If you get up and go to that boot camp at 6am twice in a week then you should give yourself a reward.

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Decide on your reward at the beginning of the week – it might be a new book or perhaps something more indulgent like a massage.

It’s wise to choose something that’s not going to undo all of the hard work you’ve done during the week though!

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UPDATE YOUR WORKOUT WARDROBE

Updating your kit for winter needn’t be expensive but if you want to get outside to exercise and the cold is the main thing putting you off, some good accessories will really help.

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Being warm enough makes a massive difference to your chances of leaving the house.

I would recommend the following things:

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Seal Skin Gloves: These are the best workout gloves I’ve ever had.

They’re a little more expensive than the normal running gloves from the likes of Adidas and Nike, but they’re worth every penny. They’re lightweight, waterproof and keep my fingers warm all winter!

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Body Warmer: They are lightweight so it doesn’t get in the way or weigh you down when you exercise, but it keeps your body warm on the coldest of days.

Snood: A lot of heat can be lost through the neck because it holds a main artery that carries warm blood between your heard, brain and face.

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I’ve got a Nike snood that doubles up as a balaclava when the weather is really bad and it works a treat!

Warm Running Socks: There’s nothing worse than cold feet when you’re trying to get moving, so invest in a good pair of warm running socks.

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GET SOME ACCOUNTABILITY BY JOINING A GROUP

Having a set time for a workout holds you more accountable.

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If you know the class is 6.30pm-7.15pm you’ll be there on time so you don’t miss it.

However, if you workout on your own without a set time, it’s really easy to make excuses and keep putting off, especially when it’s warm and cosy in the house.

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MAKE A 10 MINUTE DEAL WITH YOURSELF

When you really don’t feel like doing it, agree with yourself that you’ll just do 10 minutes.

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Ten minutes on the cross-trainer at the gym, 10 minutes of running, it doesn’t matter what it is.

If you still want to get snug in front of the fire after those 600 seconds then fine, but you’ll be amazed at how often you don’t want to.

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And you don’t even need to leave the house. HIIT is a great tool for when you want your training done quickly (and indoors). Try my workout on this page!