How to keep your fitness routine going when the clocks go back

The clocks are about to change. Don’t worry it’s the good one – the one where you get a glorious extra hour in bed.

But the bad news is that our mornings are about to get even darker. The kind of impenetrable winter darkness that makes you wonder if the sun will ever rise again.

And it can make getting out of bed any earlier than absolutely necessary basically impossible. Bad news for your workout schedule.

As we lose our daylight we often lose our motivation to stay active too. And while hibernation seems appealing, it can really impact your mental and physical health if you’re not doing enough fitness.

According to research by health and wellness app, MINDBODY, 55 per cent of people who exercise frequently say they are least motivated to exercise during autumn.

‘It is that time of year where temperatures get a lot colder and we get a lot less sunshine,’ explains sports performance mind coach Nick Davies.

‘This can lead to low mood in some people and a desire to curl up in the warmth of our own homes, meaning the likelihood of going to the gym is a lot less than in warmer months.’

Marvin Burton, Head of Fitness at Anytime Fitness UK, has shared with us his techniques for keeping your fitness regime firing even as the depths of winter take of hold.

Try home exercise programs 

Home workouts help to reduce travel time to the gym.

Additionally, they aren’t weather dependent and can be cost effective. Investing in home-friendly pieces of equipment such as a kettlebell, medicine ball or Swiss ball offers a great way to introduce physical activity to the start of the day.

Switch up your schedule

Although you may already have a routine, why not swap a midweek workout for a weekend workout to give yourself an additional day of training in the daylight?

Try different forms of exercise

Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts follow summer and winter training programs.

Usually, the winter sessions are resistance (weights) based which typically take up less time and can be performed in a gym.

This type of exercise also builds and focuses on other areas of strength required for endurance and outdoor events.

Increase the intensity and reduce your workout time

Many people now use higher intensity exercise, such as HIIT, to reach and maintain their goals.

Working harder and smarter may help and improve your fitness this winter, allowing you to hit the gym later in the morning and cling onto the daylight a little bit longer.

Focus on your nutrition and recovery

When it is cold and dark, we usually crave warmer foods and drinks, subsequently meaning we need to make changes to our diets.

During the winter it’s likely you’ll need to spend more time cooking and preparing.

While you may not have the enthusiasm to get up and hit the gym when the mornings are dark, you could use the time to prepare food, stretch and work on other aspects of your health.

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