Guys! Say no more. Its cold, its wet, its snowing… I get you. I understand.
Trying to exercise in general (speaking for myself, obviously) is hard. Exercising when you’re contending with cold weather, ice and rain can definitely be off-putting.
Now, I love a good gym session, however, I’ve not always been that way. It’s only really been this last year that I’ve started to take the gym seriously and in the last 9 years, I hadn’t seen a sports bra, let alone a gym floor. However, with some real focus, I’ve managed to make sure I see the inside of the gym or cycle path at least three times a week.
Let me share my secrets with you.
So, they’re not life-changing but they’ve helped with my motivation and commitment to persevere with this. Hopefully, they’ll help you too. They don’t have to be followed specifically through Winter, (although taking into account the weather, it’ll be a good start), these can be adapted to any point in your fitness journey:
1. Sign up to a gym
Now lots of people will say “you don’t have to have a gym membership to exercise. You can work out from home, or go for a run”. The likelihood of this happening if you haven’t already done it is pretty low. To get yourself a routine, sign up to a gym. Once you’re in your routine, then you may decide to cancel and that’s fine. You’re motivated, you’re firing on all cylinders so cancelling your membership shouldn’t cause you to fall off the wagon.
When choosing your gym, make sure it fits what you’re looking for and ideally pick one with regular classes. These will come in handy when you can’t be arsed thinking up an exercise routine. Personally, I picked one that had a specific ladies area so I could get used to using weights and building my cardio. I also wanted one that offered spa facilities because working out is hard, and sometimes, you just need some TLC.
2. Add their schedule of exercise classes to your home and work calendar
This might sound crazy! And maybe it is… but it works.
So when I decided that I needed to take this exercise thing seriously, I knew I needed to shove all the things that I should be doing in my face. So, I got a copy of all the classes taking place across the week and committed to attending between 2-3 every week. However, this commitment wasn’t enough. I knew I had to go balls deep in making sure I didn’t forget this. This is where the calendar comes in.
I took about 30 minutes out of my evening one night to type in every single class that they ran outside of my working hours. So, basically ones I knew I would be able to attend. I inserted each of these classes, on a re-occurrence, to my iCalendar and then synced this with my work calendar. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t added alarms, that would be crazzzzyyy. But, just having them visible in my calendar means I never forget.
Also by having them in my work calendar, I’ve created a healthy balance where I know I need to shut off the laptop and get some “me” time. Win win.
3. Set a schedule
OK, so you’ve got the class schedule and you’ve chosen the classes best suited to your fitness needs. Now you need to set your schedule and stick to it. For example, my schedule is as follows:
- Monday – Gym
- Tuesday – Metcon (class)
- Wednesday – Body Combat
- Thursday – Circuits
- Friday – Rest
- Saturday – Gym (with gym buddy)
- Sunday – Yoga and sauna (with gym buddy)
Having a schedule keeps me focused on what I’m trying to achieve. I can move the days around if needed but I know I’m aiming for 5 hardcore days of training.
If I’m travelling, which I tend to do a lot, I’m now in a place where I’ll adapt my schedule to fit this. If my hotel offers gym facilities, I’ll take my kit with me. If it doesn’t, I’ll either commit to going for a run (if I’m comfortable with where I am), squeezing a session in before I go or just shuffling my days around.
4. Get a fitness buddy
This isn’t something you absolutely have to do, however, gymming can sometimes be boring especially if you’re not doing a class. I find I work well in the gym by myself for one or two sessions, then I get bored, then the Instagram stories make an appearance as I’m trying to find something, anything to take my mind off what I actually need to do… workout.
Having a gym buddy adds that little break in the week. Gives you an opportunity for a good chin wag while you workout and (if you’re lucky), gives you a little bit of added competition and a glance at some other exercises or routines that you may not be aware of.
5. Always be prepared
Plans change. Lives change. You may have planned to have dinner but your friend cancels. You may have planned to have your nails done, but the salon double booked you. You may have a work meeting cancelled and now you can leave earlier than planned. In all these instances and many more, you could go to the gym instead. But, this can only happen if you’re prepared.
Now every day, I have a gym bag packed. I pack it before I go to bed and then leave it by the front door so I don’t “forget it” in the morning. It then gets chucked in the boot of my car for when I need it.
This plan works too. I can flex when I go to the gym (if needed) and I’m always prepared for a last minute body pump blast.
6. Have some equipment at home (just in case)
This is for days when the unimaginable happens. For example, you’re just about to leave for an exercise class and then you hit your neighbours car (racking up nearly £1,300 damage), but that’s another story. The point is, after that epic error, the thought of trying to concentrate on anything other than how to break the news to my husband was just not possible.
Instead, I broke the news to my husband and my neighbour and then took some time in the living room with an 80’s dance track and sweated out my utter frustration of the day. All I needed was a yoga mat, a resistance band and some other bits and pieces, however, check out my article for creating a home gym on a budget.
7. Track what you’re doing
So let’s be real for a second. We all do things to get something from it. We read cookery books to learn how to cook or to master a recipe. We attend a webinar to improve our skills in a particular subject. We take out a 0% balance transfer credit card to mask over our debt (we’ve all done it). The point is, we don’t do anything in this world without expecting a result. So why should exercise be any different?
Why put all this hard work and effort into something if you can’t see what you’re doing or how you’re performing. When I decided to make exercise a goal, I also realised I needed to invest into this. I initially started out with a Fitbit. It was great. The synced app keeps you informed on the number of calories you’ve burnt that day along with how many steps you’ve taken. It really does make you consider what you’re doing in a day.
I’ve since upgraded to an iWatch. Guys, I won’t lie to you, the iWatch has absolutely changed my life. Not only does it track everything from Whatsapp messages to emails to phone calls (I can literally take a call on my watch), but it also tracks my activity for the day. I can visually see my improvements in all the different exercises I do. It also monitors calories and steps plus so much more…
Finally, none of this is going to be possible if you don’t believe you can do it. If you go into this only 50% committed, the chances are, you’ll fail at the very beginning. Remember, mindset is everything. Now go, stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you can do it. You CAN achieve this goal, you CAN get yourself into a healthy routine. You JUST need belief.