Betty’s Bodies Guide to Fitness: How to Stay Motivated as the Days get Shorter and Colder

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Make Exercise a Habit Now – The sooner you start doing something, the sooner it will become a habit. They say it takes 30 days of doing something consistently for it to become a habit. So decide which days will be your workout days (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and commit to going to the gym for a month. Even if, to begin with, you’re only going in and doing a 15 minute walk on the treadmill, eventually you will get used to it and your workouts can become longer and more intense.

Workout with a Friend – Having a workout partner can be a great motivator. It can be easy to hit the snooze button and miss that morning class, or decide that you’re too tired after work to hit the gym, but if you know that you’re meeting someone there you are a lot less likely to bunk off. It also helps if your friend is of a similar fitness level to you as you can push each other to new heights.

Set Goals – It’s all very well to say you want to ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’, but having vague goals can mean vague results. When setting goals you should follow the S.M.A.R.T principle, goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time based. For example: ‘I want to fit into my red dress by my school reunion in June and I’m going to do that by going to the gym three times a week, only having dessert once a week and swapping my mid-morning muffin for a piece of fruit’ or ‘I am going to enter into a 10km fun run in August, I’m going to join a running group to train for it and run twice a week on my own’.

Join an Indoor Sports Team or Try out Some Different Classes – Team sports don’t always have to be super serious, there are many teams that play for fun. Have a look around at what teams are in your local area, or get a group of friends together to form a team of your own. It’s a great way to have some social time with your mates that doesn’t involve going out drinking, or eating waist expanding meals. If sports don’t really ring your bell though, try out some group classes; there are a huge variety of classes out there, so the more you try the more likely you’ll find something that appeals to you. Classes range from weights based classes (such as Body Pump), cardio classes (Spin, Body Attack, Zumba) to classes to improve your core strength (Pilates). I recommend going to a couple of different classes a week, because even if you love spin to begin with, if you go to four classes every week you’ll get sick of it pretty quickly.

Cold Weather Food doesn’t have to be Stodgy – People often use cold weather as an excuse to pile extra food on their plates, and if you’re not careful this can lead to piling on the extra kilos. But cold weather food can still be comforting without being high in fat or refined carbohydrates. Go for tomato based soups loaded with veggies (try to avoid cream based soups), or try a fiery chilli con carne made with lean mince, kidney beans and veggies to keep you warm. For breakfast, a veggie omelette is always a good bet, or if time is an issue; porridge is always a quick and easy option, top it with fresh fruit and nuts, but avoid adding sugar.

Buy a Workout DVD – If leaving the house seems like too much to bare an exercise DVD done in the lounge room can be a good option. If money is an issue, try borrowing a DVD from the library, or if your friends have different DVD’s try swapping them around for some variety.

Choose the Right Drinks – When it starts to get cold it can be easy to reach for a hot chocolate or sugar laden coffee, but the kilojoules in these drinks can quickly add up, and while the sugar may give you a temporary high, that’s soon followed by a slump. Try out different herbal teas, or even hot water with a squeeze of lemon in it.

Layering Clothes – If you’re exercising outside in the cold weather, layering your clothes can become an art form. Wear a few different layers of clothing so that as you begin to warm up you can shed the layers, and then put them back on as you cool down.

Hire a Personal Trainer – A personal trainer can help you identify your goals and how you are going to get there. As a PT, myself, I endeavour to make each session with my clients fun and different, so training doesn’t get boring, although I always make sure they are working hard to keep on track towards their goal.


By Emma Betty Roberts

Betty’s Bodies – Personal Training

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