Shape Up With Siobhan: Plan For The Cold Winter Months

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siobhan_sentry_headshot_clipOur fitness expert, Siobhan Sentry of Advanced Fitness Education, on how your routine will change with the onset of winter…

AS the evenings start to get a little darker it may be time to start planning your exercise for the winter months.

Are you super-dedicated and will still exercise outdoors hail, rain or shine? Or are you allergic to the Irish winter weather?

The key is to be realistic and honest with yourself. It’s ok to enjoy exercising outdoors in the sun, but I do not fancy wind burns from gale force winds and hail stones.  You certainly won’t catch me out battling against the elements!

If braving it against our lovely winter weather isn’t for you, start thinking about how you’re going to keep your exercise plans on track this winter.

Continued below…

The Streat new

Trust me, it is all too easy to look at the rain outside the window and decide to stay curled up on the couch watching Corrie. I think being prepared for that lethargic feeling that comes with winter and having a plan in place that will work best for you is essential.

Here are some of my top tips for staying on the ball with your health and fitness goals this winter.

Are you going to move your exercise indoors, if so, what are you planning to do? Do you enjoy group exercise sessions or prefer to be left to your own devices, do you want to exercise in the comfort of your own home?

Realistically how many sessions can you commit to per week? Has your time lessened with kids back to school or do you have more time for yourself now, is this a busy time at work?

Decide how many sessions you can commit to, choose your days* and write them down, now place them somewhere very visible like the fridge. Again be realistic, don’t over commit yourself.

Decide what exercise you plan to do on each day and add this to your plan. If you’re not working towards a specific athletic goal don’t be afraid to make it varied – variety is the spice of life and definitely keeps things exciting and fresh when it comes to exercise.

Monday could be a Box Fit class, Wednesday a swim, Thursday an exercise DVD in the living room and weekends could be sporting activity with the kids, a run, TRX anything you fancy that gets you moving.

Be practical and consider what barriers you’re going to face and plan for them. Do you have commitments that you need to re-jig? Do you get particularly lethargic in bad weather? How are you going to overcome these obstacles when you face them?

Think about what has stopped you exercising in the past and plan to overcome it this time around. Some barriers could include the increased cost of exercising in winter months if planning to start classes or the gym. What you can you cut back on to allow for this or do you need a more cost effective plan, do you need support from family and friends to stick to your plan?

*Always, always plan to exercise on a Monday! Skipping Mondays often leads to a bad week, get the week off to a good start and you will be less likely to skip sessions for the rest of the week.

• Next week I will look at cost effective ways to exercise indoors using different apps and training tools.

• Siobhan Sentry is Course Director with Advanced Fitness Education at Tralee Sports And Leisure Centre. She has eight years diverse industry experience. She has worked worldwide as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor and a top level wellness specialist designing and implementing health and wellness initiatives for multinational corporate companies. For more visit their website by clicking here

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