It’s late January and winter is here in full effect. Depending on your outlook this could spell disaster for your fitness goals. Consider that almost 20% of people who signed up for gym memberships in January stop going by mid-February. It could be that it’s cold, that January days feel short and dark, or that no matter what change we embark on, by six weeks into the change, our motivation and commitment begin to fade. Let’s face it, change is hard work! It doesn’t take long for the novelty of a new routine to wear off. We have high expectations often leaving us thinking “shouldn’t I be making more progress; seeing more results?”. If this sounds familiar, consider a change in approach.
Reframe The Game
Bring back the element of play – what do you enjoy doing that involves moving your body? Dancing, badminton, tai chi, or a walk along the river? Moving your body helps you breath deeper improving your energy level. You’re not exercising you’re releasing tension, relaxing and improving your mood.
Work It In To Your Routine
Those who focus on shorter bouts of movement more often in their day are more likely to accumulate a minimum 30 minutes of movement daily. Reducing your ‘sedentary time’ or the amount of time sitting is just as important as increasing your moderate to vigorous activity. Set a reminder to move for 5 minutes every hour. In an 8-hour workday you’ve now moved for 40 minutes!
Get Out, Try Something New… And Bring A Friend
Doing the same thing over and over gets dull. Take advantage of the season and try something new. Snowshoeing, curling or cross-country skiing are all fun and active winter options. Check out join.ottawa.ca or you local recreation centre for fun and affordable options both indoors and out staring in the coming weeks. Everything is more fun with friends!
If you are working hard to build a more active routine – reward yourself! Develop a list of non- food rewards that you can treat yourself to. Some options might include a magazine, a trip to the museum, tickets to an event, some pampering in the form of a fancy shower gel for after your workout, a new pair of sneakers, you get the idea.