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For many of us, motivation is at an all time high over spring and summer, with the sun acting as a beacon of light that draws us outdoors. Unfortunately, as daylight savings comes to an end, so can our desire to stay fit and healthy. During winter, it’s often dark when you wake up, and dark when you leave the office – leaving little time to squeeze in a workout, and making it extra tempting to slip on your ugg boots and settle in for some downtime.
The reality is that by staying motivated over theses cooler periods, we can reach our fitness goals faster. Sounds simple, right? On the surface, it is. For many of us, however, it’s simply not that easy.
Who better to turn to for wisdom than my own #fitspiration, Jenna Douros?
“I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t get asked how on earth I stay motivated to do what I do,” says Jenna. “As I have a genuine passion for health and fitness, my motivation tends to come fairly naturally. However, I am only human so those days where I’m feeling a little less energetic I have a set of techniques which I can call upon to stay motivated every damn day”.
Luckily for us, Jenna is happy to share these techniques to help us combat the winter blues:
Mental training is the most important training for Jenna. This mental strength is what allows her to tackle tough new workouts, while still focussing on her long term goals. She uses strategies including visualisation to maintain her positive mindset, no matter what life throws at her.
Tracking devices are an essential tool to help motivation. They help to keep you accountable, track your own efforts and provide a platform to compete against yourself. Heart rate monitors can be particularly helpful, as they can serve as a reminder that while you may feel like you’re pushing yourself to your physical limit, you might have a bit more left in the tank.
If you are just starting out, many smart phones have capabilities to track your own health or even in build pedometers. Start small and build upon it.
Let the music move you
Music plays a huge part in Jenna’s life and is absolutely essential for her workouts. Music can help distract from pain or fatigue, elevate mood, increase endurance, distract from your body’s awareness and reduces perceived effort – potentially allowing you to run faster, lift heavier and endure more without even realising it.
When Beyonce and Biggie are your workout buddies, you can’t help but feel motivated.
Group training is one of the most powerful motivational training methods out there. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to push you harder, exert more energy, help keep you accountable and encourage team work. At the end of the day we are all social creatures, so group training or a fitness buddy is a perfect support system to encourage us to keep going, push out one more rep and not to give up. There’s strength in numbers, and we can often feel stronger together.
A positive attitude towards health, fitness and overall wellness is the very first step in determining how fast you reach your goals. With a combination of a positive attitude plus dedication, commitment and consistency you should be on your way to achieving your goals.
For Jenna, fitness is a therapy, a healthy addiction, a way to relieve stress and a time to challenge herself. Importantly, it’s also a way to have fun, a method of self-improvement and a way to feel good about personal achievements.
It’s been said that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so start small. Pick one or two things you’d like to change and work towards your 21 days. This might be to cut out sugar in your tea/coffee, having an extra glass of water a day or any habits that you’d like to create or get rid of.
Learning how to form a habit is a skill you will use for a lifetime.
Whether it’s a group class, an outdoor workout or solo gym session, make sure to pre-plan your session and know what you’re going to do. As soon as you get there, don’t waste any time. Get straight into it, every second, every rep, every step, every heartbeat and every sweat bead counts! To progress, develop, advance towards a better you, you need to push your limits!