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Fitness Fuel and Midwinter Motivation

Picture this – the alarm clock goes off and it’s still pitch black outside, you’re wrapped up like a marshmallow, dreading making the treacherous commute. Hopping down the gym on days like this is often the last thing you want to do. We feel ya. So, how can we make these last gloomy February days a little bit more exciting to get us through to the spring? Here are our top tips to get you feeling like Mr Motivator.

Daylight alarm clocks:

As we venture closer to spring, our mornings are getting brighter earlier. But, if you’re trying to be top of the class and pack in your exercise routine before work, you may still beat the sun to rising. For days like these, we recommend a daylight alarm clock. Studies show that humans are naturally programmed to wake up when the sun rises. So if you’re a serial snoozer, this bit of kit may be for you. It mimics a natural sunrise to wake you up gradually, so you wake feeling more rested. No more being startled awake by that annoying song you’ve heard way too many times! And here’s a bonus tip – if you’re breaking the dawn with a workout, then chuck your workout gear on the radiator the night before so you wake up with toasty threads that’ll make leaving your bed that bit more inviting.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, there are just bad clothing choices,” Zanna Van Dijk

Water:

There’s no underestimating the power of water. We quite simply can’t live without it – but you knew that already! But what you might not know is that dehydration is one of the main causes of decreased energy levels. When you’re moving through the day like a snail, it can sometimes be as simple as downing a bottle of water to pick your energy levels back up. The best way to ensure you start the day with a boost is to drink a glass of water first thing. But, if you’d rather a hot mug of tea, try making a warm salt sole instead. Lots of your body’s natural salts are lost during exercise, so it’s a good idea to keep them topped up pre gym sesh. Follow the instructions here to make your own sole at home, and don’t forget to use our Himalayan Pink Salt to push the mineral content to the max!

Pair up:

There’s nothing like a good old gossip to raise your spirits. We think combining this with exercise is one of the best ways to have a great time while working out. There’s no reason why your workout routine has to be boring, and finding a stellar gym buddy can be the difference between making it down to the gym and not! Not only does it create dependency – someone to call you and kick you out of bed when you’re being lazy, but the time really does fly when you’re having fun! Grab a whole group of mates and work through some Yoga with Adriene in your living room, or sign up to your local gym’s spin class to embrace the power of strength in numbers.

Energising foods:

If being wrapped up in your duvet doesn’t already make you feel slug-like, then those carb heavy foods we all crave in the winter months are bound to make you feel a little sluggish! It might seem counter-intuitive to go against what our body seems to crave, but we often get mixed signals from our brain that make us think we want one thing, but in actual fact we really need another. Take water for example – studies show that many of us confuse being thirsty for being hungry. Take a look at this simple guide to help you figure out the differences. However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t be fending off hunger pangs too! But how about mixing it up a little and swapping sugary snacks for foods that release energy more slowly. Refined sugars spike your energy quickly, which may feel good in the short term, but can leave you feeling worse than where you started not long after. These are some foods that release their energy in a more controlled way, so you can stay feeling bouncy for longer: Cacao, dates, chia seeds, nut butter, quinoa… And, don’t forget to pack in those trusty foods that keep your immune system fighting back, because we all know how a pesky cold can get us down.

Endorphins:

It’s no myth that exercise puts you in a good mood. But, it’s not just the pleased-with-yourself buzz that works the magic. Endorphins are the body’s own little bit of magic. They’re a hormone that’s released when you exercise, and are responsible for making you feel like you can conquer anything when you leave the gym. So, no matter how much you dread getting your exercise routine back in gear after a lull, you know you’ll always be rewarded afterwards by your body’s natural high!

Weekends away:

Why not book a cheeky holiday to get you through the winter? When you feel like the cold days will never end; THAT’s when you need to hop on Skyscanner and book a cheap flight to anywhere with sun. But if recentering is more your thing than sunning yourself, check out Groupon for the latest deals on spa trips and detox retreats that’ll make the last days of winter fly by.

Tunes:

And last but not least, you’ve got to get your workout tunes on lock if you have any chance of feeling pumped to get training. We recommend hitting up Spotify’s workout playlists to transport yourself to a world of 80s aerobic video throwbacks and bangers that’ll get your heart pumping. Having something good playing in your headphones is the best way to feel great when you’re on a solo run, but we’ve also got to give an honourable mention to the good old Zumba class. Bring a mate, get moving and have a laugh and you won’t even realise you’ve been exercising! There’s a lot to be said for dancing in the kitchen too…