Hello October, Goodbye Training
Autumn is here, it’s rainy and windy (at least here in the UK) and we only want to sit inside under a cozy blanket, drink tea and watch Peaky Blinders.
It can be hard to enjoy this time of year when it’s dark in the morning, it’s dark when you finish work. Summer clothes go in the back of the wardrobe and you’re going to need your winter coat.
You miss the summer, the food, the holidays. You want comfort. Your diet goes out of the window, you skip some gym sessions. We can all feel like this, but for some people, your mood swings harder than a wrecking ball.
You might have a little cold, which will make everything seem even more dramatic.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter. Symptoms of SAD can include a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities, craving carbohydrates and gaining weight, feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness.
Read more about SAD here.
It’s hard to keep up with a healthy lifestyle in the winter, I know. We all feel the same, the difference is that fitness enthusiasts can find ways to keep themselves motivated in difficult times.
Here is my top list to help prevent you from falling off the wagon this autumn/winter:
Make sure you have a training plan. That’s your number one goal. Having a plan means not having to think about what to do on your next workout - it takes a huge weight from your shoulders. If you’re already dragging to go to the gym, the last thing you want is to design a workout session as well, but if your training is laid out with exercises, sets and reps, you just have to show up, run through the plan and leave. This will keep you consistent even during times where you want to skip a session.
Often we got ill because we don’t get enough nutrients. The lack of sunshine, cold, dry or humid weather will test your immune system. Keep your vitamin and mineral levels up by eating foods that are in season.
Here is a list for you (UK):
Aubergine, Apples, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Chillies, Courgette, Cucumber, Elderberries, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash.
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Elderberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash.
Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Winter Squash.
Train In A Different Time:
Waking up in the morning and seeing that the moon is still up can drag down even the most dedicated gym-goer. Maybe it's time to switch to a different time slot. Try to train in your lunchtime or early afternoon. Use your free morning to go to work earlier if you can and finish sooner than usual. Shift your workouts to your day-off. You will find your hidden strength.
This doesn't need much explanation. Sleep whenever you can. Even just for 10 minutes. This will change the world. Resetting your mind and body works the same way as your smartphone needing a reboot after running for too long. You’ll feel that everything is smoother and snappier.
Make a new playlist. New month, new bangers. Music puts you in a different mood. I told you that beats can help you recover (link), now I will tell you the opposite: hype yourself up with some fresh tracks.
Here is my playlist for October:
Throughout my coaching career, I realised that most people don’t really enjoy working out, but they do it in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s also true, that once they find the training style that fits them, they start to fall in love - or at least like - moving their bodies. But if they have extra motivation, someone to rely on, someone who pushes them through rough times, they tend to perform better and see fitness as fun instead of a burden. Get a gym buddy, try a class, ask a personal trainer to pair you up with someone. Accept the challenge. It’ll be fun.
I'm a huge advocate of training in blocks. I wrote about block-training before, and most of my workout programs are based on this principle of dedicating a chunk or block of the year for a specific training goal. I use the winter in particular for strength-training, so my workouts look different from October to December than they do from April to September.
And this is going to loop back to the first piece of advice: have a training plan ready. In this case, get a new plan with new goals that will keep you excited and motivated to hit the gym at full power.
Hope that helps,