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How to stay motivated this winter

Helping hand: Becky Wright and her workout accountability buddies. “We make sure we’re all on track and training hard by checking in with each other daily on social media”

I’m not a fan of cold, rainy or unpredictable weather. It can be a real mood dampener, can’t it? I know how the shorter, darker days can kill your motivation and any desire you have to work out, but you mustn’t allow the winter blues to become an excuse to let your health and fitness slide.

Here are a few of my top tips to help you stay focused and on track this winter:

1. Plan, plan, plan

If you’re more inclined to skip your gym session or workout at this time of year, I recommend that you actually write it down in your schedule, as though it’s an important appointment. This simple act will make it seem like a real commitment which you shouldn’t miss and you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

2. Picture it

Summer may seem like a long way off at the moment, but as the saying goes ‘hot summer bodies are made in the cold winter’. It’s so true that the hard work you put into training now, will shine through come the summer months.

So here’s some motivation for you: visualise how you’ll look and feel when the weather finally heats up and you’ll be able to confidently reveal your fit, toned and healthy body. If you need an actual visual aid, I find posting a picture of my favourite bikini and summer dress on the refrigerator serves as a good reminder of what I’m aiming for and why I’m working so hard now.

3. Work out at home

Battling with the elements is no fun, so I don’t blame you for not wanting to venture outside to do your workout. But that doesn’t mean you can just sit on the couch and wallow at home.

I’m a big fan of high intensity interval training (HIIT) as it’s a great way to burn fat, as well as being a very convenient way to workout — you don’t need any fancy gym equipment nor a lot of space to get an effective HIIT session done.

My entire 21 Day Bikini Body Fitness Programme consists of daily workout videos that feature exercises requiring no equipment, making it the ideal at home workout programme. The women who have been following it so far are getting some incredible results, with several losing up to 5lbs in the first week.

So there goes that excuse, no more blaming the weather for another missed workout! If you’re a little unsure what to do, or need some inspiration for a HIIT workout, why not check out this one from my 21 Day Bikini Body Fitness Program:


4. Prepare healthy meals in advance

This is key all year round, but I think even more so in the winter when we tend to crave stodgy, carbohydrate-rich comfort foods which are usually less than healthy and definitely not so kind to our waistlines. Temptation to tuck into these foods can be minimised though, if you have a batch of healthy meals and snacks on standby.

It may sound like a lot of work to do meal prep, but in practice it actually can save you lots of time (and money) if you get organised and cook several meals in one go. These can then be portioned up, put into separate containers and refrigerated or placed in the freezer ready for you to grab and go as and when needed.

I like to do my meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and then again on a Wednesday evening, and this pretty much keeps me covered for healthy meals for the week.

Similarly, clients of mine who have the greatest success with transforming their bodies long-term, are always the ones that plan and prepare their meals in advance.

5. Try something new

Variety is the spice of life, as they say, so why not try something new this winter? Trying a new sport or fitness routine will force you to be fully engaged with the activity you are doing as you have to learn new skills, and this will keep you from feeling bored or as though you are heading down a slippery slope towards stagnation.

And even if you are content with your current training routine, why not refresh your workout playlist? Some new, uplifting music could be the key ingredient you’re missing in helping to keep you motivated.

6. Don’t go it alone

Lastly, get yourself a workout buddy, an accountability partner, or join a social media forum where you have to check in regularly to let people know you’re hitting the gym and completing your workouts.

This is more powerful than most of us realise, being a part of a network of people who care that you reach your goals will encourage and motivate you to stick the course and meet your targets. You’ll find on those days when you could have so easily talked yourself out of training, that you end up ditching the excuses and getting on with it because other people are counting on you to follow through with your commitment.

Ultimately, try and persevere and be consistent with your fitness routine this winter. You won’t regret it for one moment by the time spring and summer comes around.

• Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with clients worldwide, including royalty. Contact her at www.inspirefitness retreats.com or becky@inspirefit nesscoaching.com