5 ways to motivate yourself to exercise in winter

In partnership with Garmin

Posted by for Strong Women

Don’t let the cold weather get in the way of your fitness routine – these tips will get you feeling ready to train in no time…     

Autumn has officially arrived, and with it have come dark mornings, short days, rainy weather and the need for at least two layers anytime you step out the house. 

These dull times can be tough on both our mental and physical wellbeing during even an average year, let alone when we’re also living through a global pandemic.

Exercise is one of the most powerful tools we can use when we need to give our brains and bodies a boost – and yet it’s also the last thing we feel like doing when it’s dreary and damp outside.

If you’ve been lacking motivation to train, you’re not alone. In fact, we could all do with a motivation boost right about now. 

So, whether it’s a good night’s sleep that gets you raring to go, or simply some new kit that you feel great in, here are our best tips for finding motivation when you never thought you could. 

1. Wrap up warm

There’s nothing worse than not having the right kit for the job, whether that’s going to yoga in a baggy top that winds up around your ears or heading out to run in trainers with no arch support.

So, while you might think you have all the activewear for the job, a collection of thin leggings and sports bras isn’t going to support you through winter workouts.

Luckily, there’s plenty of affordable, high-performance kit that is made with tech to keep you warm.

As well as getting your hands on thick leggings that can wick-sweat (no thank you, damp clothing that catches a chill), look for materials such as merino wool, which can help to regulate temperatures and last run after run.

We love Nike’s Pro Therma Leggings that come with an insulating fleece lining, and this Sweaty Betty Merino Long Sleeve Running Top is a great winter warmer and perfect for layering. 

2. Have a plan

When you’re lacking motivation, walking into the gym without a plan is a recipe for panic, confusion and a swift exit.

Instead, add some structure to your training to make things simple and streamlined, by investing in a smartwatch that comes with training plans you can access right on your wrist. 

The new Garmin Venu Sq smartwatch is the dream tool for planners, as you can write out your workouts on the Garmin Connect app, including exercises, sets and reps, and then load them on to your watch ahead of time.

Alternatively, download a range of pre-populated workouts or follow along with one of the free training plans from Garmin Coach, that are written by qualified trainers and are adaptable to your goals, whether that’s nailing a 5K or getting a new half marathon PB. 

3. Get proper sleep

Lockdown has had a huge effect on our sleeping habits.

In fact, data from Public Health England shows that more than four in 10 adults are experiencing more sleep problems than usual as we attempt to work, eat, socialise and snooze within the same four walls.

With working from home set to continue into the winter months, it looks like we might be struggling with disrupted sleep for a while longer.

That has a huge impact on our exercise routines, with studies showing that sleepiness is correlated to a reduction in social and physical activities (as if you didn’t know that already).

Sleep hygiene is key here, meaning turning off apps and blue light at least an hour before bed, trying to separate where you work from where you sleep, and prioritising calming evening activities.

Not sure whether your bedtime routine needs a shake-up? The Garmin Venu Sq boasts advanced sleep monitoring that estimates light, deep and REM stages of sleep, with all your stats available to review the next morning.

4. Find a friend

There are countless studies that show the benefits of working out with a friend, and who are we to argue with that?

If you have housemates or live with family, schedule in a HIIT workout together so that you hold each other accountable.

Alternatively, meet a friend for a socially distanced walk or run – you can’t turn them down when they turn up at your door.

Given the current situation, virtual workouts are also a great way to get the buzz of training with a buddy without the contact.

FaceTime a friend for a workout, join an Instagram Live where you can see the other viewers reacting and commenting or set up a family step-count competition on Garmin Connect.

After all, what’s more motivating than seeing yourself in first place? 

5. Train effectively

You’ll never feel motivated to exercise if the training you have planned is working against your body.

That’s why it’s so important to understand how your body is functioning before deciding what type of workouts to embark on.

But ‘listening to your body’ is harder than it sounds, especially when there are so many different factors that can affect how you feel.

That’s where using a smartwatch like the Garmin Venu Sq can help.

It’s able to track your energy levels using the Body Battery™ tool, so you can see how recharged you are after your sleep, or how much that Zoom meeting has drained your energy levels.

There’s also the menstrual cycle tracker, which not only allows you to input how you feel, but shares information about training and nutrition, depending on your hormones.

These tools can help you create a holistic view of your overall wellbeing, and help you determine whether it’s time to unwind with yoga or lace up for your weight-lifting class. 

Keep yourself motivated this winter with The Venu Sq GPS smartwatch. With a stylish design built for all-day wear, it contains a whole host of features designed to improve the wearer’s health and fitness on top of its toolbox of smartwatch essentials. Expect a wide range of all-day health-monitoring features, built-in GPS, Garmin Pay, safety features, workout options and even a version with integrated music. Buy it here and stay active, even when the weather is against you.

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