It has been a busy November here at aFitnessPT. Long working days and new clients to work with bring exciting challenges and a chance to put some newly learned skills into practice. Working outdoors a lot provides its own benefits such as exposure to the beautiful, crisp autumn weather we are experiencing here in London. The array of autumnal colours on display at the beginning of the month in the many parks of London provide the perfect backdrop for a challenging workout for those brave enough to venture outside and, although the temperature has dropped since, the cold sometimes can make you feel more alive...sometimes!!
November is always a long, arduous month for many of us. As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, we often find our motivation lacking. Suddenly, getting out of bed becomes more challenging and our efforts with regards to our diet and exercise regime may falter.
Here are 3 tips, 2 news pieces and 1 article to help you stay on track:
Three great tips:
Tip #1: Have a plan!
It is an hour before you should be working out. You are tired, cold and don’t feel up to it. If you do not have a clear idea of what you are doing in the gym it is very easy to drop out. Writing yourself a plan for your workout is a great way to stop you from dropping out and it doesn’t have to be too complicated either! Pick 5 exercises, number them 1-5 with 1 being the hardest and 5 the easiest. Perform 10 reps of exercise 1, 20 of exercise 2 and so on. Perform this twice more and then leave.
Tip #2: Don’t do it alone.
Having a support group not only helps to keep you motivated but also keeps you accountable for your actions. Telling friends, partners and family members of your goals and encouraging them to keep supporting you is a big part of succeeding. Hiring a Personal Trainer is also a fantastic way to ensure you keep moving forward towards your goals.
Tip #3: Eat heartily.
Comfort food doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Stews, soups and casseroles are fantastic ways to consume heaps of healthy minerals and vitamins. Experiment with different ingredients and flavours to ensure you get a range of nutrients and benefits.
Two News Pieces:
This piece by Stylist.co.uk explains how a common condition known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) may affect your motivation to exercise. SAD is a condition where the change in seasons can lead to low mood and depression partly due to changes in hormone levels such as vitamin D and melatonin. It also provides some handy tips to help combat this and how to remain consistent with your exercise efforts.
Ever wondered how fitness professionals remain motivated to exercise? Healthline.com asked 12 health professionals their motivations to stay active and what inspires them to keep going. A very interesting insight into how we manage to fit exercise into our hectic schedules!
One Interesting Article:
These small changes could help to improve your health and fitness without the effort of getting a workout in. Still, it’s better to go and train!!
What I’ve Been Reading
This is NOT a paid advertisement. Available at Amazon.co.uk
The Happiness Advantage - Shawn Achor
As someone who is often guilty of neglecting certain positive aspects of life in exchange for working more, this book would prove to be a valuable tool in changing my mindset and approach to work. At the heart of The Happiness Advantage lie “7 principles that fuel success and performance at work” which are designed to place us in a more positive mindset in order to improve, not only our work lives but our personal and social lives as well.
Some of these principles are very widely known - “Falling Up” for example is synonymous with the concept of trying to find the positive in every negative situation. Some other principles are slightly more revelatory such as “ The Tetris Effect” which draws upon a phenomenon discovered in a study by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry in which 27 people were paid to play Tetris for multiple hours a day, three days in a row. What was discovered was that the subjects began to see the shapes and formations found in the game everywhere they looked. This phenomenon also applies to our everyday lives by way of our “trained” selected perception of everything. In a nutshell, if you spend most of your day looking for negatives as may be required by your job, this will spill into your lives and leave you finding everything wrong with everything in front of you.
Lastly, one of the steps draws on something we may have all experienced - the abandoned early morning workout! “The-20 Second Rule” explores the world of self-control and willpower drawing on the experiences of many people trying to start an early morning workout regime. The easiest thing to do in the morning is to go back to sleep as this is the path of least resistance. Creating an environment that will help to facilitate the desired action - in this case placing your workout shoes by the bed and sleeping in your gym clothes - and, conversely, making the undesired action harder to follow - placing multiple alarms in different rooms - is the key to success.
The Happiness Advantage is a thoroughly interesting book written in a clear and understandable manner. I highly recommend this to anyone who feels they would like a different approach to work and life and have been recommending it to all my clients.
This Months Blog Posts
If there is one topic that generates plenty of conflicting arguments and ideas in the health and fitness world it has to be "diet". Low-carb, low-fat, keto, paleo, vegan, one meal a day, eight meals a day, carnivore, raw... Read More >
How to Warm Up For Exercise: Plus 3 Essential Movements
Winter is officially here and the temperatures have dropped so time to stick on those woolly hats and gloves to stay warm! For those of us brave enough to exercise outdoors, warming up becomes even more important... Read More >
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Maitland is a personal trainer with over 13 years of experience. He has worked alongside a wide range of leading CEO's, entrepreneurs and medical professionals. John is a keen athlete and holds a black belt in Shaolin Kung fu. A fan of the great outdoors, he can often be found exploring the British countryside and mountains...or breaking pine boards with his fingers.