I know it is odd and even a little backwards, but I have always found it easier to keep up an exercise routine during the cooler months leading to winter than in spring or summer.
While everyone else is slowly adding to their layers (and I’m not just talking scarves..) I am using this downtime to move, cook and prepare. Kind of like an out of season spring-clean to reset goals before summer (ie fun times) arrives. And let’s be honest, those New Year’s resolutions that you swore to stick to are now a distant, distant memory.
Yes I know it is getting cold out there, but what better way to keep warm than to do a few interval sprints or to sting a kettkebell a few (hundred) times? What more genus way to ward off extra calories from the winter wonders (hello yummy curries) than to sign up to a new class?
Why prepare? Generally speaking the sun will come out after winter and the big jackets will get pushed back to bottom of the wardrobe. Why become one of the usual suspects who waits until a week before beach weather to do a frantic exercise binge in hope of redemption to undo the damage you have caused?
How about this year you join me and instead of damaging your health through winter, shape up and feel amazing. Wake up a wee bit easier and feel confident and strong instead of groggy and couch comatosed.
Yes it will be getting wet and cold outside so one thing you can do is bring your outdoor training indoors. For a few months, switch your bootcamp sessions to indoors (come see me at Holistic Fitness if you’re in Sydney and try one of our classes!) or splash out on a new exercise DVD to get stuck into.
Change up long sessions to short and intense ones so you can still enjoy the relief of your couch and Foxtel IQ once done. But hot tip – watch your hot chocolate/coffee/red wine ratio to good ol’ H20 once you are on that couch as you must stay well hydrated.
Planning is essential to making this work. Try setting yourself an 8 week challenge either at a gym or with a friend, as having an ‘end’ date always helps with mental blocks. Then over time, 8 week blocks will turn into 12 week blocks until it becomes an easy lifestyle routine that hopefully you will even learn to enjoy!
Tip: Dress accordingly! Invest in some warmer (perhaps new..) outfits and at least one water resistant jacked. The reason why they say to keep your hands and feet warm in cold weather, is because the body shunts blood away from the extremities to warm internal organs!
Tip: Don’t let a sniffily nose get in your way of achieving your goals this winter! Virus busting herbs include Olive Leaf Extract, Andrographis, Garlic and Echinacea.
Tip: Rest days are just as important as exercise days – don’t forget this!
Tip: Make big pots of veggie soup for easy to grab meals (and always delish!).
Me? I am 11 days in a 90 day training challenge (broken into 6 week blocks) – stronger body here I come!!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 140 g (5 oz) sugar-free tomato paste (concentrated purée)
- 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes (sugar and additive free)
- 150 g (51/2 oz) green beans, topped,
- tailed and cut into 3–4 cm (11/4–11/2 inch) lengths
- 1/4 cabbage, coarsely shredded
- 1/2 cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 2 zucchini (courgettes), diced
- 1 red capsicum (pepper), diced
- 1 green capsicum (pepper), diced
- 1 bunch kale or 1/2 bunch silverbeet
- (Swiss chard), stalks trimmed and leaves coarsely shredded
- 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) additive-free vegetable stock or filtered water
- 1 handful herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary and basil, chopped
- Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and lightly brown the onion, garlic and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.
- Add the beans, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, capsicums and kale, and cook for 1–2 minutes more. Add the stock or water and, if necessary pour, in enough extra filtered water to cover the vegetables.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
- If you prefer a smoother soup, transfer to a blender or use a hand-held blender and whiz until the desired texture is reached.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with the herbs.
- Serves 6–8