WInter Woes

Winter Woes

Working up a sweat in the winter is quite a struggle, so you aren’t alone in your battles with motivation during the winter months. During winter, the lingering darkness on the cold and frosty mornings can sap even the most hard-core fitness freak's motivation to wake up and make it to the gym on time.

Working up a sweat in the winter is quite a struggle, so you aren’t alone in your battles with motivation during the winter months.During winter, the lingering darkness on the cold and frosty mornings can sap even the most hardcore fitness freak's motivation to wake up and make it to the gym on time.Unfortunately, hibernating in sweats isn’t going to burn any calories. We all know that it gets cold only if you’re standing still.
In Durban, we exercise in all sorts of weather conditions and the women who train with us can attest that there's a certain thrill that comes from braving through terrible conditions.This might be the perfect chance to winter-proof your waistline with iTrain’s winter season survival guide.

TIP #1 Dress for success and get out the door anyway
1. Wear bright colors:
We're already a band of fierce women known in the neighborhood for pulling off neon tights in style. In winter, shop for outerwear built for the cold like warm jackets(with reflective stripes if possible) or sweaters in red, pink or bright blue so you can stay more than merely visible.

2. Wear the right gear
Studies show that working out in frigid temperatures makes the moisture on your skin evaporate, thereby pulling much-needed heat from your body. The key is to wear layers so you can comfortably control the amount of clothing you need to the extent that you're protected but you don't get soaked with sweat. Invest in shoes with specialized soles and running gloves to make your time spent outdoors much more bearable.

3.Avoid baggy clothing
After sessions, I always recommend that my clients notice the positive changes in their bodies and how they feel overall. There’s a subconscious association between baggy clothes and lounging. Opt for sweaters that don't hide your silhouette all season.They will only keep the bulges under wraps till it's time to face some harsh realities in summer.

Winter can trigger cravings for comforting sweet carbs when the days get shorter.Your carb cravings skyrocket when the chemical serotonin in the brain is less active. When you're left tired and hungry, you would satisfy your munchies with fatty carbs. This is the body's way of making attempts to make your serotonin level rise. I'm sharing a smart slimming strategy exclusively with you now that may help put the brakes on binges. Try to spend at least 20 minutes a day outside or near a bright window to amp up your serotonin.

It is therefore important to monitor the overall calories you consume and the overall total you expend through physical activity over the entire period using these dietary tips:

Dietary tips:
If you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may just give up because you’ve set the standard too high.
Put yourself in a good mood during winter's dark days by instead eating low-fat, healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal with a sprinkle of brown sugar, and cinnamon toast.

Notice how the cravings tend to grow stronger as the day goes on; Try to eat protein, dairy products, and vegetables for breakfast. Munch on healthy carbs in the afternoon such as popcorn, soy crackers, or peri peri nuts before the sun goes down to stave off a binge. For dinner, try to eat roasted veggies, black bean soup, or vegetable stew with barley.

Keep in mind, one or two splurges aren’t going to derail your efforts, but being aware of how your eating habits change with the weather is important.

TIP #3 Fighting Lethargy
1. Get off the couch
Don't settle on your sofa until you've completed your workout for the day. Peeling yourself off the comfortable cushions to break a sweat is nearly impossible after you've turned on your favorite show. Stash resistance bands under the seat to remind yourself to get moving during commercial breaks.

2.Warm-up indoors
Optimism always helps in periods of gloom.Even before you tie up your laces, you're working with an advantage. Your body has to work significantly harder in winter to adjust to a stable temperature. This doesn't imply that you stand outside shivering, trusting that nature is giving you a workout while you're too busy thinking happy thoughts.

Take 5-10mins to do some stretches and low-level aerobic exercise like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks indoors.
That way, when you step outside, you'll begin your workout feeling cool, not toasty underneath multiple layers. The icy air might be a shock to your system at first, but the best way to warm yourself back up is to get moving. Exercise gets your blood pumping, and you'll keep that heat long after you kick off your trainers.

3.Wake up and work out before sunrise
Just getting out from under the comforter can seem like too much effort on dark mornings. If you wait for the perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.

I suggest that you tuck into bed 15 minutes earlier each week over the next five weeks: Set your cell phone alarm for when it's time to get some rest and follow through. Avoid computer and TV use for an hour before bedtime to shut out light and other brain stimulators. Darkness is a cue for your brain to crank out the sleep-inducing chemical melatonin.Although this is easier said than done, it is very effective in making your wake-up easier and your mood noticeably better.

TIP #4 Modify your workout
If you've been a part of any of the challenge programs with iTrain recently, you have been lifting weights one to three times a week. Be sure to add in some steady state cardio atleast two times per week, brisk walking for 20min counts as better than nothing, Infact we will be talking to you about the benefits of walking soon on our blog!

1. Try circuit workouts
Simply follow iTrain's try the at-home, no-equipment routine if you cannot leave the house. Repeat the circuit using a timer on your smartphone.

— 15 squats

— 15 push-ups

— 15 crunches

— 15 seconds of high knees

2. Jogging/ walking( 30-minute cardio )
Even a 30-minute moderate walk on an even surface burns 106 calories for the average 140-pound woman. If you're a runner, you can jog safely through the season by taking shorter strides.
Always remember to listen to your body because if you continue your normal stride length, your calves will be sore the next day.

TIP#5 Re-define your objectives.
The goal is not to do more (as we all have a tendency to do this time of year), but rather to perform every task well. Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze just everything into your routine focus on the simple and more effective types of training. E.g. Functional training and core work, this can be challenging but There's no pressure now to perform or compete. It's about going back to basics and balancing out your schedule over a few weeks so the adjustment becomes easier.

I'm not asking you to take it easy; We all have a tendency to overcompensate and feel guilty about not being able to stick to our normal routines. Not only will this make a difference physically, it will mentally remind you that your main objective is to focus on what your goals are and what's required of you in order to gain and sustain them and stay healthy. This is the time to call up your friends. Even if you usually exercise alone, someone to help keep you motivated makes it even better.Making the time and remembering what the winter months are all about will keep you excited about fitness.

Take it from me, the cooler atmosphere is actually SO much better to run in.Whatever the weather may be, training with a forward-thinking mindset can make exercise a little less depressing and a little more fun. After all, working out gives you more energy in the long run.In conclusion, what you do doesn't matter as much as you'd think as long as you keep yourself moving.

Tough conditions just make you stronger, don’t think- JUST MOVE!
Your dedicated coach,
Mariam Manack