Episode Highlights

00:01:03 Reasons why people aren’t consistent with exercise
00:03:38 5 Tips to winter fitness
00:06:18 Book your fitness activity into your calendar
00:07:38 Find a partner in your fitness journey
00:09:45 Play it Forward
00:12:29 Make a deal and give yourself a reward
00:16:56 Commit to doing just the minimum



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is 118, and on today’s episode, I’m going to be giving you my five top tips to overcome the winter training blues. So let’s jump into the episode straight away. And really, I wanted to record this episode today because I’ve just been out for my morning run at the time of recording this Sunday morning. That’s when I have a Sunday run date, and for the first time, it’s been quite chilly here in the UK and it’s obviously dark when I go out for my morning run and generally at this time of the year with the people that we work with on our foundational program.

We see a lot of people coming up with all number of different excuses as to maybe why they’ve not kind of kept consistent with the exercise. So I wanted to address the kind of winter blues, really, because it’s at this time of the year, particularly in the UK. Obviously, when the clocks are about to go back and it’s dark, it’s cold. Often it’s very wet. And, you know, even at the best times of the year, a lot of the struggle with motivation me included, to be honest, and we don’t always feel like training. We don’t always feel like working out. But if you’re working out to a specific target or there’s a specific weight loss goal you want to me or fitness level you want to me, it’s really, really important that you stay consistent, i.e.

You keep showing up when either your training plan or program tells you you need to work out or whenever that’s part of your kind of normal schedule. So in general, you know, a lot of people work out three or four times a week. They might either do it in the morning or they do it in the evening. But at this time of the year, it’s so, so easy to completely sack it off and not do it at all. You know, in the morning when it’s dark, tick this morning, you know, I woke up about 6:30 in the morning and it was just pitch black and it’s quite easy. It’s a Sunday to just say, Oh, I’ll do it, I’ll start Monday, I’ll start tomorrow. But I know myself personally, if I miss my Sunday run day, you know that would just have an impact further down the line. So really today is to share five tips that I’ve used and use. To kind of counteract that.

And what I really want to make a big point of is that there’s generally never, ever a time where you’re completely overcome it, so you always have to use like these tools and these strategies to kind of almost have a nice internal battle with yourself and your internal battle with your mind to kind of get you out, get you running and not specifically running, but get you kind of moving and get your training. And it’s, you know, if you’re searching for this thing, which will make it easy all the time, you may well find it and congratulations to you if you do.

And if you have found it, leave a note in the comments below and let me know what you did to find it. But I generally don’t, and the majority of people that we work with don’t. So you have to put these tools and strategies in place to kind of help yourself. Will yourself at the bed, you know, will yourself to get your gym gear on or when you come home from work, you know, will yourself to kind of go training or whatever. So I’m going to share five tips with you today. So the first thing is to prepare, right? And I know this is spoken about a lot and I’ve spoken about this a lot. It’s prepared. I prepare when you’re going to work out. So know yourself and know when you it’s the best time for you to work out, and that could be down to your energy levels. That could be down to your commitments, that could be down to how, yeah, to how your schedule works for me personally. Working out in the morning is the best time. So the preparation around that is I make sure that that fits in with my daily schedule. Now, obviously, at the weekends, it’s easier. But in the week I know doing it in the morning, so I generally start work early and then kind of after I’ve done about a couple of hours work, then I’ll go and train.

And that’s normally ways in the early morning. And I have that scheduled. That’s in my calendar, so I get an alert for that when it’s time to train. So there’s a there’s a lot of psychology around putting stuff in your calendar and everything else. You’re less likely to skip it if it’s in your calendar. There may be may well be circumstances, which means that you actually just can’t work out. Maybe you’ve got a cold, maybe you’ve got a meeting or whatever, and that’s fine. But the point of it is, is its schedule and it’s psychological. It’s fixed in your mind. So if you can’t do it at that time, you just move it to a different point in the day. The other thing is your get. If you are a morning person to work out when you get up in the morning, if you’re not going to work out straight away, still put your workout kit on if you can. If you’re your environment dictates that you can do that. Obviously, if you’re going into an office, maybe that’s not the case or you’re doing other kind of forms of work. But generally, I will put my workout kit on because again, that’s just another barrier to help you actually do the training. So preparation is key. Know when you’re going to work out, know when the best time for you to work out is and make sure you’ve got your kit prepped.

So that’s number one. Number two of of just actually already touched on this, but book it right, so book it into your calendar, book it into your diary, but just have that placeholder there. That means that you know that that scheduled right? So like a meeting, like a dentist appointment, like a doctor’s appointment, if you book it, you’re not going to miss it. Same with your workout. And again, the psychological element of it just because you’ve booked it, that doesn’t mean to say that you can miss it. So don’t kind of think, well, for example, if you have to book a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it, right? Because you wouldn’t want to let the doctors down. You wouldn’t want to let you wouldn’t want to waste that appointment. It’s no different when you have an appointment with yourself. So psychologically, start training yourself that when you book that end, that has to be done. You’ve booked it right, you’ve booked that time out. Do it. And unless, like I’ve said, there’s there’s an extreme circumstance, which means that you actually can’t do it. There’s an emergency at home, there’s an emergency at work, you can’t do it. But then that also doesn’t mean that you just don’t do it. You just move it to a different point in the day. Ok, so that’s number two, number three, and this is really, really helpful and that is a partner.

Now, not everybody will have a program like we have with our foundational program where our coaches will coach you through it. So you’ve got accountability. If you don’t have that, find yourself an accountability partner. That could be your wife, your spouse. There could be a colleague at work, you could agree between you that you are going to commit to whatever fitness regime, whatever health regime it is, but then you hold each other accountable and it can be a simple thing like sharing your schedule with them in terms of when you’re going to work out and agreeing with them that you’re going to text each other. So, you know, when it’s time to work out, they’re going to text you and you’re going to text them and just say you’re good for your workout this morning, you’re ready to go. Have a good workout. And that just helps. Is that accountability? Because again, the psychology behind it and the science is very, very clear. We don’t like to let people down. Ok, so we don’t like to disappoint people. So if you’ve agreed with a partner or colleague or a spouse that you’re going to do something at a specific time again, you’re less likely not to do it. Ok? Rather than what I was saying to you before in point two, when where you’re going to book here, why? Sometimes you can say, well, the appointment is only with myself and no one’s holding me to account, so I’ll skip it.

Whereas if you’ve got a partner and accountability partner, a coach that’s helping you through it and they’re messaging you at the time, when that work out is supposed to be done, you’re less likely to miss it. So all of this guys is just really helping us overcome these kind of cold, dark winter could almost call it winter blues, I guess, but it’s just all of this constant challenges we have psychologically that that would mean that we potentially wouldn’t stay consistent. So it is just these little helpful things that we’re putting in place. So that was number three, have an accountability partner. Ok.

Number four, again, this is down to psychology rather than the actual doing of the workout is play it forward. And what I mean by that is that before you work out as you’re leading into your workout or at the time when you’ve been alerted, it’s time to work out. Play it forward. And what I mean by that is, how are you going to feel once you’ve worked out? Now I’ve yet to meet or speak to anybody that has told me once they’ve worked out, they feel terrible. They wish they hadn’t done it, and they feel more demotivated and more tired than before. It doesn’t work like that. The biology behind it doesn’t work. You know, the endorphins that get triggered when we work out the dopamine, the serotonin, all of those reward hormones that get kicked off once we’ve worked out, you know, our mitochondria, our little energy plants in our cells of our body are all revved up.

We’ve got way more energy. Yes, we might be sweaty. Yes, we might have exerted ourselves. But I can guarantee you five minutes after you finish your workout and your heart rates come back down and you’ve done it, you will feel way more energized, way more happier and actually quite refreshed. Bizarrely, as it may sound. So play it forward in your mind if if it is a dark, cold morning, if it is a wet cold evening and you’ve got to go and work out, just just pause before you have this conversation in your head to say, I’m not going to do it tonight, I’m not going to bother. Just stop and think to yourself, how am I going to feel when I’ve done this work? It could be a 12 minute hit session, could be a 20 minute session, could be an hour run. You know, it could be cycling, it could be swimming, it could be anything which you enjoy doing. And this is a little bit and an aside to that. Make sure it’s enjoyable. Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, don’t do it. Find something that you enjoy. So coming back to -.FOR play forward. Make sure you play it forward in your mind. Just just visualize how are you going to feel? How is that going to make you feel once you’ve actually overcome that barrier to not working out, OK and you finished it, you will feel so much better. The science is very clear on this, and I’ll keep referring to science. But I like to refer to science because it’s something tangible is something that people have actually looked at and confirmed that that is actually what I’m talking about is the case. So play it forward. How are you going to feel?

And then number five, really? Again, a lot of this is down to the actual psychology as opposed to actually doing it or kit or something like that. And that is number five is make a deal and give yourself a reward. And what I mean by that? Is, let’s say, for example, you are going to go for a run. Ok. And it’s an hour run that you generally do when you work out and you really you’ve played it forward in your mind. You’ve got an accountability partner. You’ve booked it in your diary. You’re prepared, right? So you’re at the kind of door, but you’re still psychologically like, Oh, I really, really could do without not doing this right? I just really don’t feel like it in the mood, and I have this all of the time. Despite all of the exercise that I do, I still have it like there’s a little split second in your mind where you could just shut that door. Take off your trainers, take off your your exercise kit and just either go back to bed or go and lie on the sofa.

And that is if you’ve got an hour run to do, make that deal with yourself and you really don’t feel like doing it, make that deal with yourself that you’ll do it for at least just five minutes, you just try it for five minutes, right? And I guarantee you once you’ve done five minutes of of the hour run that you’re supposed to do, you will not stop. You will not stop. Turn around and walk back home unless it’s a really, really extreme case, i.e. you are a little bit sick and you probably shouldn’t be training anyway, if that’s the case. But I guarantee you once you’ve gone five minutes into any kind of exercise or workout anything like that, you will continue right to have that deal. Make a deal with yourself before you walk out that door or before you start that workout. I’m just going to do it for five minutes and you will continue. You won’t stop. And then as as an in addition to that, you say what I’m going to do for five minutes. And if I do the whole hour, if I do the whole 20 minutes or the whole workout, I’m going to give myself a reward. And that reward can mean anything to you. It could be a food reward. It could be a drink reward. It could be, I don’t know, buying something off Amazon or reward.

But just having these things in place means that you are more inclined to do it and to overcome this challenge. I mean, like I said at the beginning of the podcast, really now at most times of the year is challenging because life, because family commitments, everything else to to kind of make fitness a priority, but specifically at this time of the year. And specifically, if you’re doing it outside at this time of the year in the UK, when it’s dark, it’s cold and invariably wet. It’s just all weather. These little five hacks that you can use to ensure that you do the workouts, which ultimately means you stay consistent and you’ll reach the target, the fitness target, the weight loss target, whatever target that might, might be for you. You are targeting these little five tips will help you ensure that you’ve got more chance of doing that. So just to recap, then number one was prepare. So prepare yourself know when the best time to work out is. Prepare your kit. Get dressed in your kit before your workout number to book it. Book it in your diary. Book it in your schedule. So that’s a non-negotiable that that has to be done at that time. You know, unless there’s an extreme circumstance that means you can’t a number three partner, get an accountability partner, get a coach, get somebody who’s going to hold you to account to ensure that you’re not going to let them and your self down, OK? Number four, play it forward! So how are you going to feel once you’ve completed that workout? Once you’ve done that run, once you’ve gone for that swim or done that class? Ok, how are you going to feel? And then number five, make a deal with yourself and give yourself a reward.

Okay, commit to doing just the minimum. I’m going to do at least five minutes, and if I do the whole workout, I’m going to reward myself with whatever that reward might be. Ok. So I really, really hope this helps guys. And yeah, and I hope that this gets you through the winter. Keep coming back and referring to it. I’ve actually got a video on the YouTube channel where I did a video of me going out at like half six in the morning when it was cold and rain on motivation to go to the YouTube channel Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast and have a look for that VIDEO And there’s lots of other videos on the YouTube channel where you can get advice. But yeah, I really hope that helps. I hope that helps for your winter training. Good luck, and I’ll speak to you very soon.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe. And I would really appreciate if you can leave a review on iTunes. All the other things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes, and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com