Last weekend we all gained an extra hour in bed……RESULT!!
The following day I soon got over the excitement of my additional hour of slumber, when at what seemed like 3pm it was pitch black outside. BAM, here’s winter. So what did I do with the rest of my day? I stayed in, got under my duvet and did a little work on the computer resisiting the urge to eat a load of crap to sooth my misery. What is it about the long dark evenings that make us want to eat comfort food and hibernate?
Many people suffer from a condition called seasonal affective disorder or “SAD”, a winter depression that can make it difficult just to get out of bed. The reasons behind this still baffle scientists but a general concept is that it is the lack of sunlight, particulary in the morning that effects us.
We get up in the dark, go to work in the dark, and then when we come home from work guess what?? Yup, it’s flipping dark again! Some people are more sensitive to sunlight (or lack of it) than others but I think we can all admit that it can be a real struggle to motivate yourself in the depths of winter. When you come home from work and it’s dark and cold outside it seems almost crazy to whack on the lycra and go back out and exercise, sticking the heating on and curling up on the sofa is far more appealing. It’s at this time of year that you have to make a huge effort to stick to your programme, for every sense of your health and well being. You have to keep in mind that the only difference is that it’s dark outside, it’s no later in the evening than in the summer, and exercise should still be a consistent and fundamental part of your life. I would even go as far to say it is more important in the winter.
Exercise is prescribed for many conditions, one being depression. Now I’m not saying that anyone is suffering with depression but I think we can all suffer with a little “Winter Blues” and struggle to find motivation because of a lack of energy. Forcing yourself to get up and do a little exercise, even if it’s only 20 minutes is going to prompt a release of Endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body. I could go into the loooooong list of benefits that exercise has on the body but you guys know what they are, and you know how exercise makes you feel. If only we could solely rely on the feeling post workout to motivate us.
I know that working out is going to make me feel amazing, both in the short and long term, but when I’m sat at my computer at 6am on a monday morning typing this blog and all I can think of are the million and one things that I could be doing, it’s hard. We’ve all got a million and one things to do, thats not going to change, but our health will for good or for bad, it’s up to you. It’s far easier to maintain a high level of fitness and health in the summer because we already feel motivated by the long days, great weather (sometimes) and thought of getting into a bikini (vomit). We have a natural energy boost and spring in our step. It is possible to give yourself that spring in your step, by regulary exercising and eating well on a consistent basis you are going to start feeling the same as you do in the summer months. It’s just going to take a little bit of extra work from you initially, before you know it your winter programme will be a habit and new years resolutions to shift the christmas bulge will be a thing of the past. And that brings me on to christmas!! This is hands down my favourite time of year, (apart from said extra pounds) and definitely what keeps me going through the first half of winter. Last year I decided that I wasn’t going to be defeated by the festivities, surely there must be ways of enjoying yourself without gaining 3 stone?
I devised a cunning plan to ensure that christmas didn’t get the better of me, after all January can be depressing enough without the added pressure of losing weight and feeling unhappy with your body. So here it is, the christmas cheat plan that will keep you on the straight and narrow whilst still allowing you to enjoy the festivities with your family and friends.
- Start exercising regularly NOW: If it’s already a habit and you’ve already managaed to shift a few pounds then it will make the christmas workouts a lot easier, plus you will look and feel amazing in your tight fitting party dress in the run up.
- Take advantage of family: Use the fact that you have unlimted babysitters to get out and have a workout! Or even better, get one of them to join you, it is so much easier with a buddy.
- Get out: Guaranteed somebody gets a new bike, or a new pair of walking boots or coat. Get out and use them!! Round up the troops, wrap up warm and get out for a long walk in the countryside. You won’t be able to beat the feeling of fresh air and it gives you a chance to walk off the yorkshire puds!
- Allow yourself treats: There is absolutely no point in entering into christmas believeing that you can resist the temptations that lie ahead. Be realistic, allow yourself treats, just try not to go overboard.
- Christmas dinner CAN be healthy: Think about it, it’s fundamentally turkey and vegetables, be wise with your choices when you are loading up your plate and try to fill it up with more veg and meat.
- Don’t Leave it all lying around: I could open a sweet shop with the amount of crap that Joey (my 5 year old son) get’s given, and then it’s hanging around the house for weeks afterwards. Every year we make cakes and other treats in the week after christmas to use it all up, we can then take with us when we visit people and attend gatherings, the rest of it gets put out on new year and what doesn’t get eaten goes in the bin.
Winter doesn’t have to be the reason for us losing our health and fitness, it’s just about making wise decisions that are going to benefit you in the long run. None of us like the feeling of letting our health slip so lets take control of it now beforew it’s too late!
Potential PT can help you take control of your health and fitness, we provide a friendly and fun atmosphere for you to come and workout in and gain serious results!! Contact us now for your FREE consultation, 01444 484 129 or register here.