Since January you have been following up on all those 2012 resolutions about getting in shape and having a happy, healthy year … but once the clocks have changed it all gets a little bit harder to retain that resolve … not to worry, Chris Young, Gym Manager at The Spa at Pennyhill Park, former Champion Powerlifter, and co-founder of GetMightyNow.com is coming to the rescue, with his tips on keeping fit throughout the winter!
“It’s cold outside, and you really don’t feel like taking that trip to the gym. You now remember that you felt this way last winter as well. That short Christmas break wasn’t so short; it lasted from the first office party in early December until well into the New Year. But this year it’s going to be different, this year you’re not going to go into fitness hibernation; this year, at New Year you’re going to look back with pride, and look forward with renewed and loftier goals. All you need to do is not to get distracted; keep the following in mind so that you keep on track …”
– Know your goal and be SMART about them: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. Check to see that your goal ticks all these boxes; that it excites you; after all, it needs to be powerful enough to get you off the sofa and into the gym.
Top Tip: If your goal is to be “fit”, ask what “fit” means to you. If you could perform a task in six months which would indicate to you that you are now “fit”, what would that be?
– Believe that your actions are systematically moving you towards your goal. Follow behaviours which you have decided upon, ideally after seeking help from an expert coach.
Top Tip: Ask a trainer to help you design a routine to help move you towards your goal. Can everything you do be justified? Are there exercises which you know you should be doing (squats) which you don’t perform regularly enough, or with enough intensity (weight)?
– Minimise the effect of setbacks. In other words when you act against your goals, which will happen, especially during the holiday season, have a strategy to minimise the negative effects. It’s funny, when you have to perform some kind of forfeit you sometimes decide that the impromptu drinking session which you’ve just been invited on isn’t so appealing after all.
Top Tip: Strategies can include things like countering extra calorie intake with an extra gym session.
– Adjust your routine and activities to fit the time of year – in the summer it is so much easier – the days are longer, the light is better, getting outside to so a bit of exercise can be a welcome part of the day. In the winter, it’s a whole different story, which most of us would rather sleep through.
Top Tip: If you have a particular exercise that you enjoy try to fit it into your day or find the indoor equivalent. For example, if you like running after work – try to fit it into daylight hours by running in your lunch hour, using the treadmill at the gym – or if that proves too boring, simply running up and down your stairs at home. This is undoubtedly going to be good for your cardio fitness, as well as being hugely convenient.
While the winter is an obvious impediment to exercise, the above techniques can be used to overcome any distractions to your health and fitness plan. Use them when you need to and you will be amazed at the results!
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