Active winter: how to keep fit

Life does not end with the new onset of cold weather. If it is raining or snowing outside, this is not a reason to nestle on the sofa, cover yourself with blankets and reassure yourself with the words: “I will get out for exercises in the spring.” But how difficult it is to find reasons to go outside and start training. Sports psychologists Maria Ogurtsova and Marina Trubkina will tell you how to do this.

.What do you want new for yourself in the future? Most likely, there is a place for health, well-being, creativity, achievement in your imaginary ideal picture. Research evidence suggests that much can be achieved through physical activity.

Regular exercise is associated with an overall feeling of well-being and can improve mood. When it is dark and damp outside and the virus season begins, even minimal but systematic physical activity, such as walking in the fresh air, can positively affect your health. Besides, consistency in exercise reduces the risk of developing clinical depression, and aerobic exercise and weight-bearing exercise reduce this disease’s symptoms.

Reducing the amount of sunlight and daylight leads to lethargy, loss of energy and affects our mood. This is due to the synthesis of vitamin D and the activity of the serotonin transporter. Both substances play a prominent role in the central nervous system’s functioning and are associated with mood. But even in cloudy weather, you will get more light outdoors than indoors.

Yes, winter training is more difficult; the conditions around are much less favourable. How can you help yourself stay motivated in difficult off-season conditions?

SET A MEASURABLE GOAL
It is a great tool for keeping you motivated to exercise. Answer the question for new yourself: why do you want to continue to practice outside in winter? Try to formulate a specific, measurable goal that you want to achieve due to these exercises.

It can be “to run so many kilometres from December to February” or “on such and such a race to run 5 km in such a time.” Depending on this, you will be able to define objectives for each workout.

Having a long-term goal and understanding each planned workout’s role in achieving it makes it much easier to work out in winter and summer.

CHECK OUT THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
Before you start training, read the expert advice on how to get only the health benefits from training. If the challenge of training in the winter seems overwhelming, we recommend taking advantage of Stephen Gies’s discovery about the principle of mini-habits.

The first workout should be light enough not to cause any resistance. Then it would help if you repeated it regularly, bring it to automatism. Small victories will give the next step’s strength and energy, just as small and more than feasible.

KEEP A WORKOUT DIARY
Connect to one of the tracking programs with a training parameter (time, distance, heart rate). This way, you will always have information about progress in front of you. For instance:
how many kilometres did you run in a new week, month, all winter;

how much time have you spent in training during all this time; the distance that you can run in one workout. Looking at the statistics over time is likely to generate a sense of pride and joy and thus add motivation.

FIND A GROUP OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
An equally powerful technique that will help you get out into the street in a sports form is a meeting with a company of like-minded people, a team, a club, and friends. Especially if you like communication, playing sports together, killing two birds with one stone is a great opportunity.

And if you do not have such a company yet, then on social networks, you can find associations of amateurs who train in a particular city park, join their training. Then there is little to do: do not hesitate to communicate and gradually join the company.
Belonging to a friendly team is a significant factor in successful training at the amateur and professional levels. So do not neglect it at other times of the year.

PICK UP CLOTHES, SHOES, MUSIC
Indulge yourself in choosing clothes and shoes for your practice. A beautiful jacket, cool running shoes, a playlist on your phone specifically for training will cheer you up. To enhance the effect, place your favourite items in a prominent place to remind you of your sporting goals.

Here’s another trick: plan a jogging route in places you love: instead of a dull sidewalk along a busy street, choose a park or a route through memorable places, attractions that you would like to see.

THANK YOURSELF FOR THE EFFORT.
Reward yourself for your workout. For this technique to work, firstly, it is necessary to come up with a truly desired reward, and secondly, you usually do not allow yourself. That is, to get this pleasure, you will have to sweat and nothing else literally.

This should be some pleasant process that will bring pleasure from time to time. Because just buying things will cease to please you over time.

DON’T QUIT, EVEN IF YOU MISSED
After all, allow yourself not to be a superman every day and do not push yourself outside in severe frost or chilly weather, as well as after a busy day at work and a half sleepless night. Don’t be afraid to skip or not finish your workout. Even a few “absenteeism” does not mean that you have given up completely! This is better than gaining experience of unpleasant, joyless jogging,

stepping over yourself, because such episodes’ regular repetition is highly likely to lead to burnout. If you are feeling well and you know that the workout will delight you, but for some reason, you are lazy, try the following trick: go through all the stages of preparation for the workout and tell yourself that you will stretch out and go home immediately, nothing more. Chances are, after warm-up, you will want to continue.

Those who are interested in competitions and sports events can take part in winter competitions for amateurs. Winter is also a good reason to try something new, be it skiing or figure skating.

Exercise regularly, get stronger and don’t let the cold spoil your mood!

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