It’s much easier to drag yourself through a grueling workout in the summer months, but sadly winter is upon us. That means even more people are going to abandon their workout routines for the pub or cosy night’s in a warm house. We are starting to wrap up for winter and it’s become increasingly easier to fargo our usual workouts. Will you stay motivated to workout this winter.
Let me tell you this, Winter is the most important time to workout.
For one thing, carb cravings skyrocket when the days get shorter. A lack of sunlight can lead to SAD (seasonal affective disorder). A shortage of serotonin can leave you feeling tired and hungry, which can trigger cravings for comforting carbohydrates. The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. They’re typically most severe during December, January and February.
SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer, although it may return each autumn and winter in a repetitive pattern.
According to the NHS website, the Symptoms of SAD can include:
- a persistent low mood
- a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
- feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
- sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
A Study from the University of Colorado surveyed a group of 12 women and six men, and examined the changes in their production of ATLPL, a chemical that promotes fat storage, over the summer and the winter. The researchers found that ATLPL production almost doubled during the winter, and dropped during the summer.
Whilst alot of people search for medicine to help cure these symptoms and mood changes, We all know the simple answer is to exercise more. Prior to being overcome with depression or feeling larthargic start to exercise more often and beat the trend.
Numerous studies have linked physical activity with an increase of serotonin production and release. Aerobic exercises, in particular are the most likely to boost serotonin. Scientists have also found that exercise may increase SMLPL, the muscle enzyme that promotes the burning of fat, to offset the fat-promoting effects of ATLPL. And this is on top of exercise’s role in disease prevention, the quality of sleep we get, our energy levels, our sexual drive, and of course, our health.
Join a Boot Camp.
If you are bored of your usual routine, or would like some social motivation then a Boot Camp is a great way to go. You will meet like minded people who will spure you on during the winter months. Never under estimate the benefit of working out with someone else. If you feel accountable to the group at Boot Camp you are more likely to hold yourself accountable and attend regularly. All of this leads to better results and increased motivation.
Sometimes the challenge isn’t the workout itself, it’s starting it in the first place. That’s why a healthy sense of accountability can help give you the motivation you need to make the decision to say “yes!” Try recruiting a workout buddy, joining a running group or logging your workouts in a public setting (maybe even on social media if you are brave enough).
A great way to keep focued is to compete with yourself. Measure your progress during exercise or even your daily activity. We like to recommend that you get an activity tracker to help you stay motivated all day long. There is nothing like getting regularly reminders from your FitBit or Garmin to keep you in the zone.
The great thing about these little devices is that they track all day long, feed it back into their respective app and set your goals and rewards regularly. I was looking on the PC WORLD website last night and noticed they have a great BLACK FRIDAY discount all week so you can get up to 50% off fitness activity trackers.
Keep reading our blog to stay motivated. We try and post multiple article per week to keep you motivated and inspired. Visit the blog regularly to help you overcome Season Affective Disorder and low moods this winter.
Please let us know any questions or comments you have here and our expert personal trainers will answer them for you.