At this time of year, it’s all too easy to lose motivation and fall into the trap of lazy evenings, watching Netflix and binging on comfort food.
Lots of people get depressed over the winter months, for a combination of reasons, the lack of sunlight is one, especially in countries where they only have daylight for 4-6 hours per day (like in Iceland!). You are far more likely to get depressed in countries with less sunlight.
Combine the lack of sun, with a bleak winter mindset, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition… and all of a sudden, you’ve got a recipe for weight gain and letting yourself get out of shape!
Well, don’t let this happen to you! We’ve written this article to help…
#1 Set A Body Project Goal
My aim right now during the winter months is to pack on as much muscle mass as possible! The hard work that I do now will all be revealed next year, and it’s what’s making me wake up at 5.30 am each day to workout – so I look great for the photoshoot!
Set yourself a goal. This will keep you motivated. Some ideas include: running a 10k (or how about a marathon?), losing a set number of pounds, or getting fit for your sports team. Whatever motivates you to train, set a goal, and start working towards it.
#2 Workout 4-5x per week
Commit to working out at least 4x per week, if you can do 5x!
The more times you train, the more the endorphins are going to be surging around your bloodstream, and you’ll be looking and feeling great.
Make it a weekly commitment to yourself to workout, whether it’s first thing in the morning (before work), in the evenings, or at the weekends. Just make sure you make it a weekly priorty and don’t miss a session!
Choose exercise which you enjoy, whether that’s weight training, spin class, or playing five a side football with friends.
I love lifting weights and improving the look of my physique. I’ll put on my favorite gym joggers and gym hoodie to keep me warm, and then blast out some feel-good house music to help me perform my best on the gym floor.
One of the most important things you can do this summer is to expose yourself to some natural light each day.
Whether it’s a 15-60 minute walk or bike ride to work each day, or whether it’s standing outside to drink a coffee, make sure to get some natural daylight because it will lift your mood.
I was listening to a podcast recently (Ben Pakulski) that recommended getting at least 15 minutes of natural light each day. Get outside as much as you can.
Sunlight will give your body a boost of vitamin D – essential for overall health and mental well-being, and it will also encourage better sleep at night time – important for recovery in between workouts.
#4 Surround Yourself With Positive People
Instead of taking on negative energy and participating in downbeat conversations, when somebody says something negative to you…say this… “I’m sorry you feel that way!” and then go quite. People don’t know what to say! Lol!
Then flip the question and talk about positive things – frame questions in a positive way i.e., “what was the best part of your weekend?” or “what are you next looking forward too?”. This will cheer people up and stop you from spiraling into a negative mood yourself.
I’d also recommend listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and reading books that inspire you. It could be an autobiography of a famous sports star. I recently read Arnold Schqazzeneger’s book ‘Total Recall‘ – which was fantastic.
Surround yourself with things and people that inspire you to become better each day.
#5 Eat High-Quality Food
This may be pointing out the obvious I know! BUT don’t ignore the basics. In the winter months, you need more nutrients than ever — vegetables, fruit, and plenty of good quality protein.
I’m a fan of foods such as eggs, fish, and high-quality organic meat, alongside nutritious vegetables. You could also snack on nuts and dark chocolate (the darker, the better – 80%+ if you can!).
If you’re always on the move, then make sure to pick foods that are quick and easy to prepare, like a morning protein shake or fruit smoothie. You could also buy healthy foods from service stations, fruit for example or a grenade protein bar to give you a sweet tooth fix with plenty of protein – the caramel chaos one’s taste delicious.