Revamp your training mojo!
Some simple ideas that make the difference
During the winter months, it's important not to let seasonal factors like the temperature and dark evenings influence your exercise motivation.
1) Use a stopwatch - the power of working to a set time with rest periods (or workout periods) is incredible as you avoid that 'wasted time' between sets where you can drift off along with any hope of intensity! With cardio training using a timer for interval duration or to ensure specific rest between intervals again ensures we don't give ourselves too much opportunity to be overly kind to ourselves.
- Tabata training - 20 seconds of allout work : 10 seconds of rest x 8-16
- 400 meter run : 1 minute 15 seconds rest x 4
- 300 meter run : 1 minute rest x 4
- 200 meter run : 45 seconds rest x 4
2) Try reversing your workout - whatever you usually do try turning it on its head! So if you would normally hit big muscle groups (chest and back) followed by smaller ones (biceps and triceps) then try it the other any round......this will create a 'pre-exhaust' approach! The body loves change!
3) Be the early bird - don't wait till it gets dark and colder in the day to workout, get to bed earlier and get up earlier and get it done! Research shows that early exercises are generally more consistent than afternoon or evening exercisers so don't be afraid to start a new habit!
4) Sign up for an event - sometimes giving yourself a committed challenge focuses your efforts as you work towards a set date/event. It could be specific to how you train - i.e. a 5k / 10k / half marathon, obstacle race, walking challenge (3-peaks), a swimming event, a cycle event, a triathlon, a Crossfit competition or it could be one you set for yourself to do alone or with friends. Make yourself accountable and give yourself a bit of pressure - avoiding humiliation is a powerful driving force.
5) Change how you think about exercise - one of the biggest forms of motivation to exercise relates to fear - a fear of losing our health through preventable diseases such as chronic heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis (these are the ones most documented in current exercise medicine research though there are more).
If you need more of a self-drive to exercise then change your view of exercise and think about what it does for you beyond a weight loss / management level. The reality is that exercise is medicine, allowing you to not only optimise the quality of day to day living but also extend it and minimise the time you could spend in a hospital of on mediation.
Don't wait for your body to give you a wake-up call, be proactive and prevent!