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The Lean Machines: How to Beat Winter

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The Lean Machines explain why shorter days and colder temperatures don’t have to result in worsening fitness habits.

When it comes to the winter months, everything tends to become a bit less consistent. We’re probably all guilty of eating a few more calories and that in turn robs us of a bit of energy, and so our usual fitness and nutrition routines can go out of sync. It then worsens as we get closer to Christmas, and we then find ourselves at the start of another new year having taking huge steps back.

It’s key at this time of year to keep your goals more performance-based rather than aesthetic. Obviously, when it comes to spring and summer, and with the prospect of warmer days and holidays, we’re all thinking about our holiday body, but this motivation becomes slightly subdued in the winter. It shouldn’t, but it does.

The general trend is that we do eat more in winter, and particularly around the festive period, so don’t put yourself under pressure by giving yourself the same aesthetic goals; it’s an unnecessary pressure. Don’t put yourself down; we all do it, and it’s fine if you plan ahead and try and maintain some consistency.

Let’s face it, regardless of your fitness level, we all find it harder to get going when it’s dark outside. That’s just human nature. If you’re anything like us, when the sun’s up before we are, we’re raring to go, but already in the last few weeks with the days getting shorter, when you’ve woken up and it’s a bit darker, you automatically find it harder to get up and out. It’s the same when you finish work, too. Dark nights, perhaps naughty nutrition habits and then a bigger struggle to lug your ass to the gym or exercise class of your choice.

But try not to focus on the negatives. Don’t focus on the reduced number of light hours you have, or the falling temperatures, try and approach the autumn like it’s the new year. In January, it’s still cold and miserable but because it’s a new year, and because it follows a particular gluttonous time of year, we make a renewed effort to be fit and healthy. If you treated October the same way you do January, then you’ll conquer autumn and be in better shape to attack the new year when it comes around.

Treat November like January. Quite often we try new forms of exercise, get ourselves a personal trainer or buy ourselves some new gym kit at the start of the year. But why wait? By putting a momentary value on these things in January, you’re investing in yourself and more likely to do it. Why not do it now and try and stay a bit more consistent through the darker months, and give yourself a head start so you start 2020 in an even stronger position, regardless of how your Christmas goes?

Other ideas to consider. Maybe give yourself something to train for at the end of the year or the start of the new one. Or maybe train with a friend if you usually go on your own. Motivate each other when you’re feeling flat. Try and think long term. Training for holidays or weddings or whatever is short-termism, it’s always about aesthetics. Try and make training and nutrition more a part of your everyday lifestyle. Try and enjoy the process as well as what you get out of it.

Try and enjoy it, kick ass and you’ll get more long-term benefits. Do it the Lean Machines way.

Want more advice from the Lean Machines? Find more articles here.

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