Michelle Bridges’ top 10 tips for staying motivated in winter
Winter is notoriously hard to get motivated, but Michelle Bridges says it’s the most important time to be putting healthy habits in place.
We get it. You’re in lockdown (again), it’s cold out. The last thing you probably want to do is exercise. But there are ways to stay healthy in the depths of winter, says Michelle Bridges, who’s just announced her 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) program will be starting up monthly from July onwards.
“For most people, winter is the most difficult time of year in terms of achieving or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We tend to be more sedentary, eat a little naughtier and tell ourselves to deal with the consequences come spring and summer,” she says.
“But it shouldn’t – and doesn’t need – to be this way. In fact, winter is when we should be knuckling down and putting positive foundations in place so that when we come out the other side, we haven’t completely blown out and need to shed a heap of kilos… The best approach is to maintain an even balance throughout the year, rather than yo-yo-ing from season to season.”
She adds: “We want to give Aussies the opportunity to more frequently jump on board, as we know that now is the time when many of us need the most support.”
Michelle’s top 10 tips for staying motivated in winter
Find a fun outdoor class or home workout to do
Having a trainer or coach to keep you motivated is the ultimate push we sometimes need, so finding an outdoor workout class (socially distanced and in groups of 10 during lockdown, of course) or – even better – a home workout that can be done from your toasty loungeroom, will really help in keeping up that ‘yearn to burn’!
Try healthy alternatives to your favourite takeaway meals
Getting into the kitchen for a big healthy cook-up during winter is a great way to spend those cold nights in. We have a great 12WBT Chicken Cashew Stir-fry recipe.
Take advantage of the sun
Sunlight can be a serious emotional motivator and has been proven to give you a natural energy boost. Training outdoors during winter allows your body to soak up some much-needed vitamin D. This helps to ward away the dreaded SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that so many of us experience throughout winter.
Eat three meals a day and stop grazing
It’s best to consume three well-balanced and nutritious meals each day with two small snacks in between. Healthy soups, stews and casseroles are my go-to hearty meals for the cooler months.
Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day for a few weeks and feel the difference in your energy levels.
Layer up to avoid any unnecessary stress on your immune system, then take layers off as your body heat rises throughout your workout.
Increase the intensity of your workout
By walking, running, dancing or cycling faster than you normally would, your body will heat up a lot faster and you’ll soon forget it’s winter at all. Your body has to work harder to regulate its temperature when you’re in cold environments, so you’ll actually burn more calories during winter than you would in summer.
Ditch the sugary drinks
Swap all your juices, soft drinks, vanilla-flavoured lattes, and steaming hot chocolates for water or herbal tea.
Include non-starchy, plant foods in every meal
This includes vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, tomato, Asian greens, baby spinach, zucchini, squash and carrots.
It doesn’t matter what exercise you do, as long as you keep moving! Don’t give in to the couch and TV.
The next round of Michelle’s 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) commences on July 5, 2021 and the first Monday of every month after that. Register at www.12wbt.com.