I am sure you are all sick of hearing the phrase “Winter is coming“! Sadly it’s true – the nights are getting longer, and it’s getting colder. Long gone are those balmy summer evenings… mind you I am not total convinced they ever really materialised this summer!
But fear not, there are plenty of good things about getting outside over winter – for one there are no pesky midges or dodgy tan lines!
So to make things a little easier here are five tips to motivate you to get outside this winter:
1) Get Social!
It’s always hard to get out in the cold and rain when you’re by yourself. Change this by joining a club or getting a group of friends together. You are much more likely to stick to your plans if you have made a commitment to others. Joining a club is an excellent way to meet like-minded people. Most of the time there will be some sort of social pub/cafe visit at the end of a session – and after all that exercise you’ll definitely deserve that pint or piece of cake!
It’s also a great way to get used to running/biking/exploring in bad weather or the dark. Before I joined a running group, there would have been no way I would have felt confident enough to go fell running in the dark on my own, but with a bit of practice, you will be amazed how much this changes.
2) Stay toasty:
One of the worst parts of training in the winter can be feeling cold, wet and miserable – this really can be avoided! Investing in the right kit can prevent a lot of suffering. One of the essential items you are guaranteed to need is a good waterproof – this doesn’t have to cost the earth – the main aim is to find something that will keep you dry, as once you are wet, you’re sure to get cold.
Another essential is appropriate footwear. You are bound to come across more than a little mud (or ice and snow later on) and if your anything like me, it’s easy to find yourself slipping and sliding all over the place. A trip down to your local running store or bike shop will have you sorted in no time!
One final kit tip… make sure you always have a working phone with you when you are heading out – just in case!
3) Set a Goal
We all know exercise is good for us! Use this winter as an excuse to set yourself a new challenge. Whether it’s just to get fit, enter a local race or a bigger competition, having a goal to work towards will keep you motivated on the tough days. Once you have chosen your goal writing it down or telling people will help you stick to it.
4) Think of the benefits!
There are so many benefits to heading out over the colder months. First big advantage – it burns more calories as the body has to work harder to regulate its core temperature out in the elements. Although it does vary person to person, this can provide a great moral boost in the run-up to the festive season or just allow room for that post-ride hot chocolate!
Another great benefit of getting out in the elements this winter – endorphins. These will leave you feeling happier, stronger and healthier – what’s not to love about that! Remember there are very few times you will come back from a session regretting you went out.
5) Combine it with something you love
If you’re finding it hard to think of a sport you will enjoy this winter, find a hobby you love and see how you can incorporate the outdoors into it. For example running may not be your cup of tea but you may love heading out walking and hiking with the goal of capturing some of the stunning scenery. As the seasons change so does the landscape – the great thing about these months is you are unlikely to see exactly the same view twice.
Struggling for inspiration on where to go? Why not download the ViewRanger app! It has a load of routes – hiking, running, biking and more across the UK and beyond.
Now there really are no excuses!!