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Ah, here we go, winter again. Long nights, dark days and that lovely freezing temperature. As we enter the gloomy winter weeks, one of the best ways to stay motivated, happy and positive is to exercise.

Look, we know the score – the cold, gloomy days make it hard to get out of bed, especially when many of us are working from home. The temptation to grab a coffee, fire the laptop under your arm and march back to bed is real but it won’t do your general happiness and wellbeing any favours. Whilst we should all exercise anyway, there is an added benefit in keeping fit in winter and that is to help cope with seasonal depression.

So, let’s explore some great ways to keep you motivated and positive throughout the winter months:

Plan your exercises just like that appointment that you can’t miss.

Motivating yourself to do any form of exercise can be a challenge throughout the winter months. For some, the early mornings work best and for others, evenings work best. Whatever your preference, the easiest way to stick to it is to build it into your daily routine. Essentially we’re saying make it consistent and stick to the plan.

Work out with a partner.

If possible, try working out with a friend who is as committed as you. The plan here is to keep one another accountable and spur each other on when the other is slacking.

When working out with a friend or partner it helps to keep you motivated and feeling more inclined to participate – if you cancel, you’ll feel like you’ve let them down etc. For those who want to keep a workout at home, try working out with a friend online so you can talk but still keep active – we do live in the age of digital!

Designate a space at home for workouts.

So, you want to work out at home? That’s cool, we get it – leaving the house to exercise in the dead of winter isn’t exactly up there on the list of most appealing activities. If you plan on doing some or all of your exercises at home then it would be wise to set up a space aside. This will make it much easier to participate as that space is set up and ready to go with no need to move things around. It’s all about making things as easy as possible, reducing the amount of excuses in your arsenal.

Make it a goal to get out.

Even if most of your workouts are done at home it is still a great idea to get out and breathe fresh air. Getting out will make you feel better and more positive. Trees, frost covered grass, and the surroundings is a better way to become active than seeing those same four walls when working out at home.

Focus on Mental Health Benefits.

Many of us choose to become active to lose weight or become fitter. Losing weight and becoming fit are great goals but they take time and aren’t noticeable right away. Your mental health improves through activity and exercise. Exercise and staying active are also a great stress relievers.

Personally, when working out I know the benefits to being physically fit can take time, but one does feel better and stronger within just a few short weeks. Mental health benefits are felt immediately as I feel refreshed and ready to tackle what’s ahead of me that day.

Plan ahead and anticipate weather.

When working out or exercising outdoors it makes sense to factor in the weather ahead of your session. We hardly live in a tropic climate, so the assumption would be cold and cold with a hint of wet. Dress appropriately for the weather and ideally dress in layers. The inner layer should be breathable and able to wick sweat. The outer layer should protect from wind and moisture thereby keeping you warm – reducing the excuses again.

Whatever you choose to do, make it a goal to just get out and get started. Nothing ever gets achieved without a little work. And by starting you will notice immediate benefits in mental health soon followed by feeling stronger and more physically fit. Choose to feel better, more positive and improve your health and well-being.

If you are looking to improve mobility or your general health this winter, schedule a physiotherapy or massage appointment with our expert practitioners.

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