Find it hard to keep up the workouts in the colder months? Personal trainer Timo Topp has the secrets to staying on track.
It's getting colder and we are losing the light, which doesn't help the motivation levels for training over winter, right? But if you're tempted to hit the snooze button in the morning, remember this – staying motivated this winter requires a change to only one thing: your mindset. Sure, the conditions encourage eating more and doing less, but the bedrock of motivation is based on two things. The first is having a goal or target to aim for. The second is clearly understanding the positive effects your actions will have on your life. Connect with these two forces and you will always be inspired.
Train for an event
There is nothing like having a short-term goal to work towards to keep you focused and on track with your training. The end of winter brings with it a few classic events, such as the body+soul Bridge Run in Sydney. Winter is the perfect time for running training, too, because it’s not too hot.
Set a goal
Not really into running? No problem! Set another goal, such as a few kilos' weight loss or a five per cent reduction in body fat. Stick a photo of that bikini you want to buy on the fridge. When you see that swimwear, knowing each day that passes brings you closer to hitting the beach this summer, you are going to be keen to close that fridge door and grab the skipping rope instead. There's nothing like a picture to motivate you. It might not be a bikini; it might be a photo of you in terrific shape or a great outfit you want to wear. Whatever image works for you, stick it up where you'll see it every day.
Focus on the benefits
The gravitational pull of the bed is very strong at 6am, especially when it is cold and dark outside. That's why you need to remind yourself of the benefits exercise brings you. You want to manage your stress levels, have an abundance of energy and feel good about yourself rather than falling asleep at your desk, feeling overwhelmed and overweight. So get a piece of paper and write down all the ways exercise adds to the quality of your life. Stick it on the fridge, along with your photo, and read it regularly, particularly when you are feeling flat.
Get a trainer
Personal trainers are the masters of motivation and winter can be a great time to invest in one. Can't afford a personal trainer? Join a group class and get motivated for a fraction of the price.
Embrace the weather
Instead of avoiding the cold, embrace it. The famously disciplined Shaolin monks train in any conditions because it builds character. You don't have to go to the Himalayan mountains, but getting outside for some fresh air and open space will be good for your mind as well as your body. If it rains? You toughen up!
When you reach your goal, reward yourself. Not with a big cake, but with something special like a new outfit for your new body. There's nothing like working towards a goal, achieving it, then splashing out to say: "Well done me".