About the author – Christina Wyatt
As well as a friend to Pilates Live, Christina is a seasoned confidence and success coach with a passion for empowering individuals to reach their own potential. She has been a full-time coach since 2014, partnering with hundreds of clients, seeking personal and professional growth.
Find out more about Christina and her coaching here: www.christinawyatt.co.uk
As the days start to become shorter and the cold weather begins to set in it can often feel harder to get motivated to exercise. For some people winter means cosy jumpers, but for others winter can feel a more difficult time. Winter months can be linked to changes in mood, feeling low or more irritable. However, there are ways to harness the power of the winter season to boost your physical and mental well-being.
It may seem daunting embracing exercise during the winter season, but numerous studies have highlighted the advantages of staying active during this time.
- Vitamin D production: Exposure to natural sunlight can boost your levels which is essential vitamin that plays a vital role in bone health, immunity, and overall well-being.
- Enhanced Mood and Energy: Regular winter exercise can alleviate symptoms of Season Affective Disorder (SAD) Also during physical activity we release the hormone endorphins which can reduce stress, improve our mood, and boost our energy levels.
- Overall Health: According to research people who exercise in cold environments may burn more calories due to the body’s need to regulate temperature and also improving overall cardiovascular health.
Here are some useful tips and strategies to try and help overcome those winter blues and keep motivated to exercise through the darker winter months.
Setting aside a specific time in the day or week can really help to keep up regular exercise, especially in winter when we can think of lots of different reasons to avoid it. Working out a time of day that works best for you is also important. If you are often feeling exhausted at the end of the day this might not be the best time for you to schedule trying to exercise. We can also use exercise to help break up our day. For example, if you are working from home, exercising at lunchtime can be a nice way to get your body moving and help to reduce any tension or stress.
2. Setting small and realistic goals
Setting some achievable fitness and wellness goals can help you stay motivated through the winter months. These could be maintaining your Pilates practice, improving your flexibility, or simply staying active. By setting realistic goals, you will be better equipped to overcome challenges and celebrate your successes. Why not share your goals with a friend or even better find an accountability partner who can exercise with.
3. Dressing the part
It sounds simple but ensuring you are dressed appropriately in the winter months is so important. Making sure you feel warm and comfortable to exercise. Layering is key so grab an extra layer (or two!) more than you usual to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your workout.
4. Mindfulness and Self-care
Mindfulness practices, like meditation and breath work, can help you stay centred during the winter. Incorporate it into your exercise routine. Mindfulness can also be achieved in different ways, such as journaling, setting intentions, noticing your thoughts, and even noticing sensations in your body. These techniques can alleviate stress, combat the winter blues, and enhance your overall sense of wellbeing. There is also a need to be kind to yourself. There might be days when things don’t go to plan, or your motivation might be low. These are the days you need to show yourself the same self-compassion you might show your own friends or loved ones.
5. Mindset matters
One of the things that holds people back is their mindset. Having a positive, growth mindset that see’s challenges as opportunities for personal growth and tries to see the positives when times are tough. This will make you workouts more enjoyable and carry forward into other areas of your life. Here are three things you can easily do to support your mindset.
- Attitude for gratitude. Find three things every day that you are grateful for. It could be as simple as a good night sleep, the winter sunshine or maybe someone in your life.
- Visualise your goals. Set your intentions for your fitness goals and spend a few moments each day visualising the happier, healthier version of yourself that you’re moving towards. This mental exercise can be a powerful motivator.
- Celebrate progress. Remember progress cannot always be measured. Celebrate the small wins such as consistency of your efforts, increased stamina or simply feeling better each day.
Remember the power of your thoughts and attitude can be your greatest asset towards your journey of winter wellness.
The winter season is an excellent opportunity to build resilience, discipline, and sense of accomplishment. Embrace it as a chance to challenge yourself both physically and mentally.
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