It’s that time of year again. Heating’s on, big coats are out and we’re all kicking ourselves for not stocking up on de-icer when it was on offer.
It’s also the worst time of year to drag yourself out of bed for a workout.
The motivation you were brimming with in summer has gone, and all you want to do is grab a blanket and binge-watch a box set with the tub of Quality Street you were saving for Christmas.
But exercise is the best way to beat the winter blues, so here are our top tips for keeping your fitness levels up throughout the festive season.
Turn up the heat
You’re in bed, the alarm goes off. You stick a foot tentatively out of the duvet and decide it’s far too cold to get up just yet. There’s a simple solution – set the heating to come on a bit earlier. If it’s as warm outside the bed as inside, getting up for your morning run suddenly seems a lot more appealing.
Let there be light
One of the reasons it’s so hard to wake up in winter is the sun doesn’t rise until much later; and if the sun’s not rising, why should you? Get one over on Mother Nature by investing in an alarm clock that simulates sunlight. It will wake you up more gradually and make getting up that little bit easier.
Working out doesn’t have to mean going out. There are loads of great free workout videos available online which mean you can work up a sweat in the comfort of your own living room.
At this time of year it’s tempting to fill up with mince pies and chocolate, but stodgy snacks will only slow you down. Grabits Chicken on a Stick contains at least 12g of protein and less than 2% fat, making them the perfect partner for your winter workouts.
Sometimes it’s easier to motivate other people than yourself, so get a friend to join you on your run/yoga/salsa class. Alternatively, join a class or club so you can meet new people who enjoy the same sort of exercise you do and form a circle of supportive friends.
Having something to look forward to is a great motivator, so don’t forget to reward yourself for sticking to your fitness goals. Whether it’s a caramel latte, those shoes you’ve had your eye on or a whole new outfit for the office party, treat yourself. It is (nearly) Christmas after all!