Friday, 27 July 2012

Ways to keep fit (and warm) in winter!

There is something every girls dreads... after being nice and cozy in winter, indulging in hot chocolates and comfort food and staying indoors- its that first panic of spring when the sun comes out and you realise that at some stage very soon you will need to put a bikini back on!! You kick yourself and start making plans to get back in shape, eating only salads and digging your gym card out again. We end up resenting exercise and healthy foods because there is that pressure put on us to suddenly get fit. At least having sunshine and longer days keeps us motivated to do it but there are simple ways to stay in shape in winter so you can exercise because you want to- not because you feel like you have to. 
For me, having signed up for run Melbourne has been a great motivator this year, on my days off when it's not pouring rain I've put aside time to run because I'm working towards a goal. Ive been using the run keeper app on my iPhone to follow my progress and have actually enjoyed beating my own targets! 

So having something that you need to train for is great but it's also important not to feel guilty on the days that you don't exercise. Often if someone starts a training plan and they miss a day or two then they figure that they have failed and give up altogether. It's the same with diets, you eat healthily for three or four days then give in to a chocolate craving and have a bad day so think that means you're back on eating junk food and will never change your eating habits. It's a very depressing feeling. What we don't see is the bigger picture that those few days of exercise and/or healthy eating is much better than not doing anything at all. If you have a bad day then allow yourself to because you have probably earned it, once your craving/lazy feeling is gone keep going with your plan and before you know it you have done 5 days out of 7- which is great and a lot better than nothing at all. Even if you have a bad few days in a row, or a lazy week rather than give up look at the bigger picture- your habits for the whole month and how much healthier overall you are compared to before your training or diet.

There are a few little things that I do to feel less guilty about sleep ins and comfort food during winter. So simple and easy and it will make the spring overhaul a breeze.
We've all heard the old take stairs instead of lifts trick, try it and see how you feel afterwards, it's not exactly a tough workout but it's better than nothing! 
Park a bit further away from your work or train stop, not too far because it's bloody cold in the mornings but just enough so that's it's a bit of effort.
Little things like that will make u feel better overall but if u do like exercise and want to do something that is quick and can be done in front of the heater (in your pjs if necessary) then there are some great iPhone apps with short workouts. I use an abs workout and there is a butt and arms one as well- you can pick a 5min, 7.5 min or 10min workout and it's so easy to do. Roll out of bed, grab ur iPhone, spend 5mins doing it (if ur still half asleep you barely even notice its exercise) then you feel great for the rest of the day because you did something! Even if you aim for twice a week to start you will notice the difference.

Another little tip I have picked up to help kick start your metabolism in the mornings is to have a cold glass of water when you wake up, before breakfast. The idea is that your stomach has to start working straight away to heat the water up so it kind of wakes it up, also when you have breakfast you're still a bit full from the water so you won't eat too much. I tend to take my vitamins then as well, I'm forgetful so if I take them with that glass of water it kind of reminds me. 
Of course it's different for everyone, I just like exercise to be easy and not a chore so ill do lots of little things instead of a massive gym session. I like to still have a life which is probably why I  feel like I'm still working off all the drinking I did over summer! It's such a vicious cycle! but it's worth it ;)