Grace O’Rourke, high jumper, runner, Pilates instructor, personal trainer and entrepreneur is a very busy lady. When she is not training, teaching or winning Hell and Back (two years in a row) she is one of the design duo behind Grape&Gander, the first Irish luxury sportwear company. Designed exclusively for women, it provides the greatest comfort and style when working out. (Find out more and shop the collection at www.grapeandgander.com)
Grace has put together her top tips for avoiding the winter wind-down!
We all know that feeling when you come in from work in the evening and want nothing more than to grab a cup of tea and cosy up in front of the TV, and the last thing you’re thinking of is going back out in to the dark and cold.
Or how many of us manage to tear ourselves from the warmth of the covers for an early morning pre-work run, Pilates session, or yoga class?
Here are some of my top tips to keep your motivation high going into the dark winter months.
- See the big picture. Make a 12-week calendar from January to March and put it out somewhere you’ll see it every day (like your bedroom wall or office desk). When you look at all three months together, you’ll realize how fast it’s going to go. Summer dress time—hello! Keep motivated towards this. Note your workouts and tick them off each day.
- Have a heater in the bedroom for when you wake up or snooze. Buy a small ceramic heater with a remote control, and keep the remote by your bedside or alarm clock. When your alarm goes off in the morning, use the remote to turn the heater on full blast. Within a few minutes, the heater will have your room toasty warm, and the dreaded thought of getting out of those comfy sheets will dissipate quickly. I also like to put my running gear on in a nice, toasty room to help me forget it’s going to be cold the first few steps.
- Dress warm. There is plenty of thermal technical gear out there. Invest in some new gear that’ll make you want to get out there, feeling fresh. You might need a few new accessories, such as a head band, neck sock, gloves, and thicker socks. When you walk out the door, push through that brisk chill. It’ll wake you up and feel refreshing once you’re warm.
- Go easy. Because of the cold weather, it might take your muscles a bit longer to warm up, so spend a little bit longer in the lesser intensity. Reward yourself for actually getting out of the house in the first place by going nice and easy for longer, and remember you don’t have to go hard all the time—you should do it because you enjoy it, not because you have to.
- Cross train. Mix it up! This is your opportunity to try new classes inside the gym, where it’s a bit cosier.
- Use your Saturdays. You have the whole day of brightness so do something with it. Look forward to your active Saturday,
- Get a training buddy. Everything easier when you have a friend with you, and this is particularly true when it comes to sticking to your training. In practical terms, too, there is more safety in numbers when out for an evening jog.
- Tap into technology. Proclaiming your intention to work out each day on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or online community (e.g. Nike+) can strengthen your commitment, even if it is to avoid the embarrassment and guilt of not following through. Use an app like our Thinkwell VirtuaGym to track your workouts and monitor your progress.
- Train for an event. Have some sort of goal, be it to lose a few pounds, take up a new activity, or be able to run for longer distances. Putting your focus on something you can work toward helps you to think beyond the individual training sessions.
- Hydrate. The heating is on in your house, car, and office, and though it keeps you warm, it also dries you out. Remember to keep drinking water even though you might not feel as thirsty. You’ll notice your energy drop if you don’t.
BSc Sport and Exercise Science