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Maintain your motivation

How to stay motivated and fit during the Christmas party season

It’s party season, everyone is in the Christmas spirit and unfortunately for many of us our commitment to a health and fitness routine is sliding down towards the bottom of our to-do list.

“It’s sometimes harder to be motivated during the winter,” says three-time Olympian speed skater and founder of Roar Fitness, Sarah Lindsay (@RoarFitnessGirl). “It’s cold and dark outside, it’s the festive season of treats and parties and our winter wardrobe is far more forgiving!”

“The problem is that lots of us will gain a few kilograms over the Christmas period and enter the next year feeling glum,” adds Sarah. “If you are going to indulge in mince pies and mulled wine then this is a time to exercise more not less.” So how do we keep motivated and stick to our fitness goals during the party season?

Work out a plan

“Firstly, write down your goals as this is your motivation,” says Sarah. “Then, work out a plan of how you’re going to get there. Make sure it’s realistic and progressive and ideally enjoyable!”

“Set yourself a solid routine to help you stick to your workouts,” advises Rowan Cheshire, freestyle Olympic skier and personal trainer (@rowancheshire). “Join classes or get a friend involved to keep you reliable. Having a set routine around your other commitments can really help you to stay motivated and consistent, especially in winter when motivation can be low. Planning or writing it out can help you see where you can squeeze in a session. This session doesn’t have to be a full hour – do what you can.”

Take up weight training

“I understand that time is precious and often the idea of getting to the gym is time consuming,” says Sarah, “but weight training is the most time efficient way of getting noticeable, longer-lasting results. Three times per week for 45 to 60 minutes is all you need, so although a home workout might feel more manageable you will have to work out daily and find creative ways of increasing resistance and intensity to attempt to achieve similar results. I know lots of women feel guilty about taking time out of family/ work duties to go to the gym but a happier, healthy co-worker/boss/parent is better for everyone – plus you deserve some time for yourself!”

Keep to a set routine

“I find that routine really helps,” says Sarah. “If you’re working out in the morning for example, set your clothes out ready the night before so you don’t have to think in the morning. Get straight out of bed and put your trainers on without giving yourself a chance to talk yourself out of it, (no hitting snooze). I do love a workout playlist – start the day with your favourite motivational song to get you pumped and ready to work out.”

Enjoy the process

“Lastly, I really believe that you have to choose to enjoy the process,” says Sarah. “It’s a privilege to be able and healthy so, however busy you are, you can find a way to make yourself a priority. I know it sounds a little cheesy but try smiling while you’re out on that power walk and remind yourself of how lucky you are. I promise your whole day will be better!”

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