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How to stick to your fitness goals during winter

Try to schedule your workouts for when the sun is out to get that extra dose of vitamin D. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Try to schedule your workouts for when the sun is out to get that extra dose of vitamin D. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 16, 2022


As the season gets colder, it’s getting harder to go to the gym or keep active.

It’s hibernation season and going for an early morning run or getting out of the house when it's dark and cold seems like a daunting task.

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With that being said, “summer bodies are made in winter”, so here are a few ideas to keep you motivated throughout the season, and smashing your fitness goals throughout the year.

Staying motivated and geared towards remaining fit during winter is essential to build your ideal body for summer. Picture: Supplied

Dress warmly

If you’re an outdoor person and hate being confined to the gym, invest in clothing that will protect you from the elements. Get a decent wind-breaker, hat or beanie, thermo leggings and vests.

This will help you kick back those blankets and get out there.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the best way to insulate your body is layering your clothing, as it provides the most effective way to stay warm and dry.

An added benefit of this, is that you can remove the top layer if you get too hot.

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Dress warmly by layering clothing to ensure that your body is protected from the elements. Picture: Supplied

Workout during the day

Try to schedule your workouts for when the sun is out to get that extra dose of vitamin D and those “happy hormones” we all desperately need: endorphins. If getting up in the morning is proving hard, schedule your workouts for later in the afternoon.

Be flexible with your time and don’t be too hard on yourself if you skip a day or two. If you have to get out in the dark, make sure you wear reflective clothing.

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Always keep safe and remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Try to workout during the day when it is warmer as you will get adequate vitamin D, and the weather will be warmer and more conducive to training. Picture: Supplied

Eat right

Your diet is the most important facet when it comes to your body goals. Dietician and doctor, Dr Kirsten Gerrard, who also helps create Tony Ferguson meal plans, advises that you get a tailored meal plan, with a balanced diet, and also consider intermittent fasting.

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According to the good doctor, this will help improve your metabolism. Another thing to consider is trying to get more protein in your diet, including plant protein.

It’s also important not to excessively restrict your caloric intake, as a very low calorie diet can cause your body’s metabolism to slow down to conserve energy, thus resulting in weight gain as soon as you increase your food intake.

What you put into your body is just as important as exercising your body, so following a balanced diet is essential to overall fitness. Picture: Supplied

Drink more water and get a full rest

Drinking water during the day can be hard, especially cold water when it's freezing outside.

During winter, we naturally gravitate towards drinking warmer stuff like tea, hot chocolate and coffee, which are sometimes packed with loads of sugar.

Opt to wake with a glass of warm water in the morning, and add lemon or ginger for extra benefits. Aim to get in 1.5l to 2l per day. When it comes to resting, getting out of bed in the morning is easier when you feel that you’ve had a full night’s rest.

According to Dr Gerrard, getting adequate sleep makes a massive difference in terms of metabolism. A full eight hours of sleep can aid in reducing cortisol levels, which aids in increasing your metabolic rate.

Ensure that you drink enough water during the winter months, as in the colder season we tend to gravitate toward warmer beverages. Picture: Supplied