It's hard to get excited about going for a morning run when the morning is cold, wet, and windy. Cold weather makes us far more likely to live sedentary lifestyles over the winter, with many choosing to stay home and curl up on the sofa with a movie. Combined with the holiday excesses of food and alcohol, it's so easy to lose your fitness progress over the winter months. But it needn't be lost at all, with a few small lifestyle tweaks.
Keep a Routine
One of the keys to exercising regularly is having a disciplined routine - think of it as a task on your daily to-do list. Figure out the time of day that works for you, and schedule in 45 minutes to an hour just to workout - research shows that first thing in the morning is the best time to exercise, speeding up your metabolism and getting your circulation going for the rest of the day. That said, if you have early starts for work, or don't want to jog in the dark, it may be better to wait until lunchtime or evening, so experiment to figure out when feels best.
Adapt Your Workout
There are going to be times when it's raining or snowing, or perhaps life gets in the way and you can't stick to your usual schedule or workout. That's okay when you learn to adapt. Women's Health advise that the winter weather can be great for exercising, burning more calories and increasing endorphin levels - but it might be worth modifying your routine if the weather is too inclement. Swap a morning jog for a lunchtime one, when the weather is warmer, or swapping it for an alternative workout like an aerobics class. It can help to have a couple of fitness buddies to help keep you motivated, where you can all look out for offers or new workout ideas for when you have to switch up your routine.
It's impossible to exercise well if you don't eat well, so bear that in mind. The holidays are a time for treats, but remember that they are treats - maintain a balanced diet and remember to enjoy a healthy, high protein snack before every workout. For Christmas dinner, look for lean adjustments that will still taste great, like vegetable soup as a starter. Don't deprive yourself of all the yummy nibbles and drinks on offer, but remember that moderation is key - keep them as a special treat and not a given. Don't forget to drink plenty of water at festive drinks parties - your body will thank you in the morning.
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