health

5 steps to stay motivated to exercise this winter

By Kara Byers May 19, 2016
How to avoid winter weight gain

Athlete and former elite gymnast Lauren Hannaford shares her foolproof tips on avoiding winter weight gain. 

As the weather gets colder and the days shorter, it’s easy to switch into winter hibernation mode and find excuses to avoid the gym. Athlete Lauren Hannaford gives her top tips for training during the chillier months.  

1. ALWAYS warm up and stretch 

Make sure that you always warm up properly before a workout as your muscles are cooler and stiffer in the mornings during winter.

Try to take five minutes to complete a basic warm-up (which includes light cardio and full body stretching), making sure that you increase the range of movement at the major joints before you really get going.

Stretching is good

2. Ramp up your interval training 

Interval training involves raising your heart rate for a period of time and then allowing it to settle before boosting it up again. Not only is this kind of training in winter a great way to get your fitness up faster, it's also one of the best ways to burn fat fast! Try and schedule an interval session in the morning to further improve training and boost your metabolism.

 

Interval training in winter

3. Train outdoors 

Don’t forget that even though it's cold outside, it is still important to get some sunshine. Spending all your time indoors can be detrimental to your efforts to lose weight and can even result in weight gain. Your body naturally produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to UVB rays, and vitamin D and leptin (a hormone in your body) work together to help regulate body weight.

Outdoor training for the win

Leptin is produced in the body’s fat cells and works by sending a signal to the brain to let you know that you’re full while Vitamin D helps to keep that signal firing properly.

Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, too. It also aids the absorption of calcium, which helps to form and maintain strong healthy bones.

4. Rest & recover 

Stretching is my number one priority after a tough session. While you are working out, lactic acid is building up in your muscles, which often leads to muscle fatigue and soreness, so stretching afterwards helps to reduce that fatigue and increase blood circulation. There is no better feeling than lengthening out your muscles and increasing blood flow to help prevent muscle soreness and aid recovery. 

Rest and recovery from exercise

Always keep water at hand throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated in your post-workout recovery... and stay warm!

5. Eat the rainbow

We all know our body is only as strong as the fuel we put into it. This is especially true in winter. Be sure to support your immune system with a balanced, vitamin and mineral dense diet. Make seasonal fruits and vegetables the focus of every meal, ensuring you are consuming the right nutrients to help fight off spreading colds or flus.

Healthy food is key to exercise motivation

Adding a nutritional supplement to your diet will also give your training results a solid boost. IsoWhey Sports is my favourite!