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Motivate yourself

“I’ve got to start exercising. I have put on weight, I’ve no energy. I’ve really got to do something about this now. I know, I’ll join the gym, start running and cut out the chocolate.” Do these words sound familiar? Have you started, stopped, started again, stopped again? Find out how you can keep motivated through the winter with Rude Health’s fitness experts

Carl Cautley of Health & Fitness Together, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

“We all want to be fit and healthy but the reality is it takes time, commitment and patience. We start with great intentions, but circumstance, lifestyle and motivation often get in the way.”

Carl’s top 5 motivation tips

1 Ask yourself what do you want? Is it better health, lose weight, get fit, get toned, run a marathon, look better etc? Priorities are different for everybody, but most important, write it down.

2 Look at your list and ask why do you want this? Why is it important to you? Be honest with yourself, write it down, no-one is going to see your reason(s) but yourself.

3 Now set a goal. It could be I will lose 10lb by Christmas, or I will fit into a size 10 dress by July, or I will run the Dublin marathon in October 2017. Make it realistic and achievable. Goals fail for only two reasons – impatience and unrealistic expectations.

4 Next work out a plan. The big barrier, I hear all the time, to regular exercise is time. But really, is it? When you actually look at your day, how much of it is wasted or spent on things that don’t really matter? Schedule exercise into your diary, like you would a client appointment. Your health and fitness needs to be at the top of the priority list.

5 Make sure to stick with your plan. You know what you want, you know why it is important to you, you have set a realistic goal and you have a plan in place. If an unexpected event occurs that throws you off track take out the sheet of paper, read what you wrote and start again.

Ciara Lefroy, personal trainer at the Dartry Health Club, Dublin 6

It might seem obvious but one of the reasons why people have less motivation in the winter is due to a lack of vitamin D. Research has shown that this deficiency is linked to weight gain, lack of energy and muscular strength.

When it’s a great day out, nothing beats putting on your runners and feeling that fresh air hit your face. You are naturally motivated. But in the winter, the rain and dark often leads you to hibernate on the couch in front of the TV. One of the biggest reasons why people skip gym sessions is that they don’t plan their workout as part of their day.

In winter you don’t have to face the pressure of looking good in a bikini or swimsuit. Instead of setting a weight loss goal, challenge yourself by buying a really expensive new dress or shirt a size smaller. This will motivate you no end to keep up your exercise plan.

Tom Dalton of TD Fitness

Warm up indoors. If the good old Irish weather is knocking at the door. Do some jumping jacks, leg lifts or push-ups in your living room before heading out. Not only will it get your heart rate going and your blood circulating, it will make it very difficult to slide back into bed.

Use mini-goals for major rewards. Set small targets that lead to higher intensity, focus and discipline to stay on track each day. For maximum motivation, always write your goals down, making them specific and measurable, and track progress so you can reward yourself for the results.

Update your workout playlist. I use Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Drake and Ariana Grande in the studio to get some high energy beats. Bear in mind that the best exercise music has been found to be between 120 and 140 beats per minute.

Treat yourself to new gear. This relatively small investment should motivate you to make your purchases worthwhile and motivate you to get moving.

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