As it’s getting darker much quicker and the Summer temperatures have most definitely set sail, I’m struggling with outdoor fitness related things to do. So in my desperate attempt to keep fit and active before Christmas arrives, I’ve been double-gyming it. That’s right. One gym session in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Call me crazy, but trying to maintain 10,000 steps a day when it’s cold and rainy outside is tough. And with the run up to Christmas looming, it’s about time to kick my ass into gear.
Summer’s been a hectic one
I’m a real summer girl. I love bright flowers, hot weather and shorts. Literally, I hate that I have to wear tights and trousers now *cry*. But more importantly, I need to face the facts that I’m not going to be Dora Explora-ing it up as much anymore. Well, at least until next spring/summer.
The benefit of double-gyming at the moment is that most active days out, unless outdoors (and right now, I’m way too cold to be outdoors) are going to cost me money. My gym costs me £25 a month and I can use it all day and all evening (not night – because I prefer my bed).
I’m not saying, that I plan to hibernate until spring comes back – though it does sound quite nice – I’m just going to go on fewer days out, It’s never as nice without the sun, no matter how pretty the fallen leaves are.
So, that’s why, this week (and maybe future weeks) I’m trying to maintain one weight session and one cardio session a day, for a minimum of 10 gym sessions.
7 Handy Pre-Christmas Fitness Tips
If Double-gyming doesn’t sound like your ideal pre-Christmas routine, then here are seven other ways you can smash your goals before December arrives.
I love Jillian Michaels. If you’ve ever tried the 30-day shred, you’ll understand why. I completed the first round in 2014 when my fitness was very low, and I couldn’t walk for a week! Safe to say, I didn’t manage to complete it then. Now my fitness levels are better, I tend to use the 30-day shred for those days when leaving the house just seems like too much effort.
Another DVD I recommend is the 3-minute belly blitz by Charlotte Crosby. I see a lot of people on social media discussing how may rounds they’ve managed to complete and it’s no surprise many people fail before the end. This DVD is tough. But if you want abs like hers, it’s worth the pressure – plus I’ve burned waaaay more calories (according to my Fitbit) using this DVD than my usual gym workouts.
Pinterest is absolutely chocka with fitness challenges. 30 Day Squat challenge, 30 Day Abs Challange, The Plank Challenge, The Push Up Challenge. There are loads. You may have also seen on Facebook recently the 22 push-ups for 22 days in support of soldiers suffering from PTSD. You can nominate friends each day to participate and spread the message to donate at the same time, it’s also filmed and put on Facebook so you can be held accountable if you forget to do it.
Other than online challenges, many magazines also feature exercise sections. Pick up a copy of cosmopolitan, women’s health or health magazine, turn up the speakers and squat.
If your fitness goals are too much to keep up with during the colder months, it may be time to re-evaluate them. You shouldn’t feel weak or shameful. It’s life, and sometimes life gets in the way. For example, If you’ve been running 5km every morning before work in the light, the chances are, pretty soon, it’s going to be too dark to carry on. Unless of course, you live in a well-lit town. You also run the risk of the cold air impairing your lungs and throat, making it much harder to breathe and the closer to Christmas you get, the icier the roads may be.
Take a few minutes to set some SMART goals for the coming months and figure out if your current fitness plan is going to be suitable in the run up to Christmas.
Join a fitness class
Your local gym/fitness centre should have a range of classes, from Spin to Yoga to Zumba and Insanity. You should definitely consider taking up a class, not only is it a great replacement to outdoor fitness, but it’s social. Many people I know have made friends for life in their fitness classes. If you can’t find anything suitable at your local fitness centre, have a look on the meetups website to see if there are any for your local area on there. If not, I’m sure there are other great meet-ups on there to keep you busy.
When it’s too cold to leave the house, don’t. Invest in a skipping rope and some dumbbells and get your HIIT-Workouts on point. Follow “celebs” Like Jillian Michaels and Joe Wicks on Instagram for short HIIT workouts you can easily do at home.
If you have a big enough space inside then skipping ropes really are one of the best exercises. You can work your biceps, legs and cardiovascular fitness. They are perfect. Plus, It’s such a Summery activity, you can trick yourself into believing the weather’s still nice outside!
Duuuuur. Who doesn’t love shopping? Stick on your fluffy coat, scarf and boots and get shopping. Even if you don’t spend much, walking up and down the retail outlets is great exercise, but don’t even think about using the escalator. Firstly, it’s lazy and secondly, it’s lazy. I’ll make an exception if you have children or pushchairs, but unless, for medical reasons you can’t take the stairs – you probably should. Anyway, the stairs get you to your destination faster and aren’t cramped with smelly sweaty people. If you go to a good shopping centre, the chances are it’s going to be nice and toasty inside too, so you can do all that walking and not have to worry about your tootsies turning to icicles.
All else fails take a holiday somewhere warm.
If all of the above fails to fix your fitness needs, then you should probably just take a holiday. Escape somewhere warm like the Canary Islands – if you can afford it, why not spend the whole chilly season there (I would!). We’ve recently returned from a holiday in Tenerife – it had a fully functioning gym and great healthy food – so if you find the right kind of holiday, there’s no need to let your fitness take a back seat.
If you’re really against hibernating over these frozen months, and you happen to ACTUALLY enjoy braving the cold, then you may want to have a look at my top recommended autumn adventures – You may find the perfect active trip out.
Can you think of any pre-Christmas fitness that I’ve missed? Or do you train just like it’s still summer? I want to know! Drop me a comment or give me a tweet and let me know.