Winter is, notoriously, the most difficult time of the year to train outdoors – the days are short, Christmas comforts are but a recent memory, and the freezing weather can be off-putting, to say the least.
But it is also a great time to rejuvenate your exercise goals – the new year has begun and brought with it the incentive to become a fitter and healthier person; most of us are over the gluttony of the festive period, and for some, it is a great way to beat those winter blues.
So if you want to start or maintain your outdoor fitness training in London but can’t face the frost and cold, here are some tips on staying motivated until spring arrives.
1) Get yourself good activewear
It sounds simple – and it is! – but getting new sportswear can really motivate you when exercising. This applies whether you are taking a class or training in a gym, but if you are exercising outdoors make sure you invest in good-quality winter activewear, so you stay warm and comfortable, as well as stylish.
Having the right kit will really spur you on and make you feel like you know your stuff, so get yourself some thermal running leggings, gloves, headbands or hats, and reflective clothing or lights if you plan to go when it is dark. The best way to keep warm on those really chilly days is to layer up, so you can remove them easily as you warm up.
2) Make commitments
Let’s face it, after a long day at work, it can all too easy to sit down on the sofa with a warm drink and turn on the TV. But if you plan to exercise with a friend, enrol in a class, or sign yourself up with a personal trainer, you have a greater chance of sticking to your fitness plan.
By meeting up with other people, you are not only less likely to bail out occasionally – or even quit entirely – but you may even push yourself harder to keep up with them.
3) Sign up to an event
It can be hard to feel motivated to exercise in the cold and dark, as most of us can’t imagine a time when the sun will be shining and we’ll be swapping our hats and gloves for sunglasses and flip flops. But spring will come eventually, and you may want to take part in a fitness challenge when it does.
Whether you are interested in running a race, completing a triathlon, or pushing yourself on an extreme obstacle course, knowing you have to work towards something will make exercising in the winter that much easier.
4) Skip those icy days
Not every winter day is the same – some are just chilly and dark, and some are icy, foggy and hazardous. Don’t push yourself to train outdoors on those dangerous days, as it could put you off entirely. What’s more, ice and snow can make the ground slippery, meaning you are at greater risk of getting an injury, and this could set you back weeks of training in the long run.
The most important thing is to choose an activity you find fun and remember how good you will feel afterwards – then you won’t be bothered about a bit of wind and rain!