Shaping Up: Six tips to avoid a winter workout rut

A boot camp is a good way of getting motivated.
A boot camp is a good way of getting motivated.

Brrrrrr, the winter weather is certainly on its way! I’ve felt a real drop in temperature this week, especially when getting up at 5.30am for boot camp.

Even for the fittest people out there, training is more of a challenge when the colder weather and darker nights set in.

Staying in front of the fire with a mug of hot chocolate can be much more tempting than pounding the pavements on a cold winter’s night.

But that’s certainly not going to help your waistline or energy levels.

Have a look at these six tips to avoid a winter workout rut so you can continue to make good progress over the next few months.

1. Embrace the Cold Weather

Wrap up warm and get out there!

Appreciate the crisp air, its invigorating and you’ll feel great once the workout is done.

Getting out and being active certainly has more benefits than wrapping yourself in a blanket and eating chocolates all night.

2. Invest in Some New Training Gear

I don’t know about you, but when I get some new training gear I can’t wait to try it out.

Whether it’s a new pair of trainers, a new jacket, or a new smart watch it gives me extra motivation.

It makes you feel good, and you want to make your monetary investment worthwhile.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, just make sure it’s fit for purpose.

3. Get a Training Partner

Training with a friend is one of the best ways to increase accountability.

Making the commitment to train with someone, whether it’s a friend or personal trainer, often forces a different, increased level of effort in your training.

If you’re exercising with someone else, that means you’ll have to keep to more of a set schedule (no more putting off the gym at the last minute), you’ll be pushing each other to achieve more and you’ll probably have a much better time getting fit than you’d have alone.

4. Refresh Your Workout Playlists

The same as new clothing, new music can make you feel good and give you some extra motivation.

So, take some time to set up a new workout playlist.

Upbeat, fast music is the best to workout with because it can make you work faster.

Another thing that I enjoy is listening to audio books while I’m running.

I normally opt for self-help, or educational business books so I can combine learning with exercise.

5. Overhaul Your Diet

Winter is when most people stay in, warm up and eat rich foods and more alcohol.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the saying is true … ‘You can’t out-train a bad diet’.

Keep that in mind, and also know that the good thing about being more active is that you’ll be more conscious of what you’re putting into your body since you won’t want to undo all of that hard work.

6. Try Something Completely New

Doing something new will force you to be fully focused on the activity, helping you stay away from boredom.

Whether it’s kettle bell training, yoga, CrossFit, boot camp style workouts or something else, just get some good instruction and take this challenging time of year and make it into a learning experience.

YOUR TRAINER: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award-winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email or visit