It can be so hard finding the motivation to exercise at the best of times, but as the darker nights and colder weather draw in, it’s even more difficult to drag ourselves out from underneath a blanket. Especially when you’ve had a long day of nursery/school drop offs, work, cooking and bedtime routines, right? Hopefully these handy hints will give you some inspo and ease you into your autumnal workouts so you can look and feel fab all year round
ON THE CLOCK
It’s not for everyone, but I prefer to workout in the morning. That way, it sets me up for the day and whatever else is thrown at me that forces my day off course (insert random client/boss/partner/child demand as appropriate), it won’t affect my exercise plans. Another nifty benefit of being active first thing is that it gets your metabolism going and boosts it for the rest of the day. No brainer really! As you age, it naturally slows down - especially for women - so I grab all the help I can get to speed it up. I have a banana or kale, blueberry and protein powder smoothie beforehand to keep me going and ensure I’ve got loads of energy for a decent workout.
Whatever your exercise of choice is, having some new threads to wear can make all the difference. At the end of the day, if you feel good doing it, you’ll do it more often and experience even more of a confidence boost from it. Plus, there’s so much choice at the moment it’s impossible to not find something you like. H&M is a great treasure trove for cool running leggings and tanks, while the department stores are packed to the rafters with all the latest brands, like Stella McCartney for Adidas and Sweaty Betty, which are ideal if you’re into yoga or pilates.
BRING A PLUS ONE
Choosing something you and a mate both enjoy really works for a lot of people. Join a class you fancy trying or sign up to a new club together. That way you can spur each other on and catch up on all the latest goss at the same time. Winner.
MIX IT UP
Mixing it up sounds so obvious, but lack of variety and boredom is the reason most people give up exercising, so it’s well worth mentioning. Give things a go you’ve never tried before. I swear by HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) but before I tried it (albeit a while back now) I took a lot of convincing. If you’re tight on time it’s perfect, too. Some HIIT sessions are only 20 minutes so you can squeeze it into the most hectic of schedules.
Reward charts aren’t just for the kids. Make a note of your goals and set deadlines, then treat yourself when you smash them. They can be anything from attending the gym three times in a week to running 5km faster than you have done before - just make sure they’re personal to you and are measurable. Treats can be anything you like, but small things are really effective and they’re attainable so you’ll actually reap the benefits. I have things like a hot soapy bath or an hour with a glossy mag.
So, what’s stopping you? Grab a new outfit and a pal and get exercising. Promise you’ll feel better for it afterwards.
*Make sure you've had the all clear from your doctor before you start exercising after you've had a baby. Always seek professional advice if you're unsure of technique. These tips are provided by a qualified fitness professional but no responsibility can be accepted.