How best to stay fit and motivated during the winter?
The freezing weather makes many people feel loathe to leave the house and generally pretty unmotivated to do anything that doesn’t involve a blanket or warm mug of tea.
A recent survey found that half of people drastically cut back on exercise during winter and even former Olympian Derval O’Rourke finds it hard to keep motivated.
“There’s loads of us who are struggling when it’s dark and cold,” she told The Pat Kenny.
Regardless, it is worth persevering with because of the huge mental and physical health benefits associated with exercise.
“A little bit of exercise is a big health boost for you,” she said.
“Studies show that even 20 minutes of moderate moving is going to make you feel better.
“If you’re stuck on the couch, start simple - what can you do today?
“Can you get outside and walk on your lunch break?”
Even just by showing up and doing a little bit you are achieving something that all adds in the long-term.
“Don’t aim too high - just think about 20 minutes… If you actually just go it’s that little bit of getting yourself to do it, getting yourself in front of the computer, getting yourself to the actual gym.
“I totally lower my expectation and I go, ‘Just show up.’”
Another thing to do is to consider taking up activities that you might not do during the summer to shake things up.
“During the winter there’s things that I do that I mightn’t do that much during the summer,” Derval said.
“I’m an absolutely useless swimmer but I’ll go swimming a bit more in the winter because it’s indoor and I know I can go from my car to inside.
“I can have a nice hot shower afterwards.
“Think about the things that you might do in winter that you wouldn’t necessarily do at other times of the year.”
No matter what else you have on in your life, it is still important to take care of your body.
“You’re the biggest project you have,” Derval said.
“Because you have just one body and you have it for your whole life.”