How to stay fit in winter

Michaela Afford Michaela Afford Wellbeing Personal Trainer at Crawley Central Gym
While maintaining a fitness regime during the dark cold days of winter can be challenging, we understand looking after your fitness is a crucial part in improving and maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Our wellbeing personal trainer, Michaela Afford, provides five top tips to help you keep on top of your fitness goals.

1. Set realistic goals

Make sure your goals aren’t just measurable, but also realistic. Identify both short and long-term goals to help keep you motivated. Setting some short-term targets, which could be achieved in one, two or three months, will provide a sense of achievement as you work towards your longer-term goals.

Often making goals realistic is the first obstacle. If you are someone who has never run before, don’t set a target to run a marathon in eight weeks. Habits need to be built over time. Setting targets and not achieving them is more likely to discourage you and lead you back to bad habits.

2. Mix it up

Avoid doing activities you find boring, try a new exercise class or train with a friend to provide that added social aspect to your routine. Seek professional advice; personal trainers have the knowledge and expertise to guide you to achieve your goals quicker and more efficiently, you don’t have to commit to weekly sessions, but ask for help in setting up a training programme.

3. Exercise doesn’t end at the gym

There are many things you can do in your day-to-day life that will increase your fitness levels, small changes can make a big difference. An easy rule to follow is to get up every 90 minutes and stretch your body by heading to the kitchen to make a cuppa or nip outside to get some fresh air. Your body will thank you.

4. Gradually build up the volume of training

It can be easy to throw yourself into training five days a week when you’re motivated and everything is new. However, this can lead to burning out and more often than not, injury. Start with twice a week and build up from there. To go from nothing to everything is not advised or sustainable for the future.

5. Reward yourself

Celebrate your achievements. When you have done something you didn’t think you could or reached one of your targets, make sure you acknowledge it. You have been working hard to reach that point, whatever level you are at and you should be proud!

We are dedicated to building a healthier nation. With 114 fitness and wellbeing centres across the UK, we are uniquely placed to provide connected care, spanning from personal training and health MOTs to supporting people on their fitness journeys.

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Last updated Wednesday 14 December 2022

First published on Monday 31 January 2022