The chilly days are here and we would all rather stay in bed sipping hot chocolate and eating chocolate-chip cookies. We invariably find ourselves making excuses in winter, which slows down our need to exercise and stay fit. However, in order to stay in shape, we have to make an effort mentally and find a way to motivate ourselves.
The best way to start is to write down your goal. How long will this routine take to get you into shape, and what do you want to achieve at the end of it all? Always concentrate on the positive affirmations. Banish all negative thoughts such as “I am too tired” or “I can’t do this”.
Make sure that you set realistic goals like losing one or two kilograms every month. Trying to lose too much too quickly will tend to de-motivate you and will merely slow down your progress. Focus on your health rather than watching the scale too often. Balance your routine workouts so that you do not struggle to keep up. An exercise routine that includes family and friends will keep you motivated and committed. If you slow down in the winter, all the effort that you put in to train in the summer will be for naught.
Do not eliminate the foods you love as this will merely make you crave them more. Reward yourself once in a while by having a piece of dark chocolate or a cookie. Spoil yourself by having desert with low-fat custard and fruit or a baked apple with low-fat Greek yoghurt. Eating a balanced meal will help maintain your goal weight.
During the winter increase your consumption of fruits that are rich in Vitamin C, such as oranges. These are filled with nutrients that are flu fighters and will help you stay strong. Cold, wintery days make us crave for sweet carbohydrate-rich foods, because they increase serotonin levels. This helps us feel less anxious. The best way to avoid piling on the kilos is to make smart choices such as choosing whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables and legumes instead of foods rich in sugar.
We asked our personal trainer Aubrey Preston to give us a few tips on maintaining an exercise routine. Here is what he suggested:
• Stay active during winter
• Eat regular meals
• Combine carbohydrates with protein-rich foods
• Perk up your winter mood by exercising and relaxing
Aubrey can be found at Level 3, Portswood Terrace, Portswood Road. If you have any questions on maintaining your goal weight, email us to get all the answers. Be fit, stay healthy, enhance your mood and get stronger. Let us fight the winter blues and keep off the kilos.