So it’s getting colder and darker as we speak but don’t let that put you off getting up and at them early in the day and enjoying the fresh outdoor air and autumnal colours. Getting up early in the day to exercise will give you a massive boost to your energy and productivity, plus when you finish work you can go home and relax, rather than having to cram in a workout in the dark.
These 7 top tips will help you to create an effective training ritual during the colder months of the year.
1.Sleep yourself fit
We all know how useless we are the following day after a poor nights sleep, it really effects our energy levels, concentration and recovery to a point where exercise is the furthest thing from our mind.
Getting to bed early and getting up early will also play into the shorter days and darker nights making the most of each day, plus going to bed and getting up at consistent times is crucial to maintaining our circadian ryhtmn (24 hour sleep/wake cycle).
Ever felt starving the following day after a poor nights sleep? well that’s because the hunger hormone Ghrelin is raised, leading to an increase in calories in. Combined with the fact that Leptin (the hormone in charge of energy expenditure) is lowered, leading to a decrease in energy out, can you see where we are going now? This then effects our energy balance making weight gain a potential outcome.
There is also much evidence to show that training between 6-10am can actually increase the amount of deep sleep you get the following night and so the cycle continues.
2.Plan your attack
Knowing exactly what you are going to train and how you’re going to do it will not only motivate you and excite you the night before your workout but it will prevent any lost time and energy before the workout having to figure out what to do when your thinking power might be a little bit behind early in the morning.
Write your workout down in your phone notes or use any number of training apps out there, I use a great app for all my clients training programs (1-2-1 and Online) that allows them to download and log all their workouts from their phone.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
3.Clothes to go
The last thing you want to be doing in the dark early mornings is to be fumbling around in your draws, trying to find your workout clothes, it’s annoying not just for you but also for your partner who may still be sleeping in bed, which is to be avoided at all costs 😉
It may seem a little bit OCD but having everything laid out in the morning will make that transition from bed to workout more pain free, which then makes the chance of you carrying on the habit a more likely outcome.
I love getting up with plenty of time, getting my work out gear on and being able to sit down and wake up fully whilst enjoying a good cup of coffee, matcha green tea or my super dooper hot chocolate!
Enjoying a nice hot drink that contains coffee, matcha or cacao will not only warm you up from the inside out but will provide you with a stimulant to help give you that extra drive and push out of the front door!
5.Train close to home
Let’s face it this has to be one of the biggest limiting factors of success for a training program, the further you live from the gym or exercise area makes it easier to find excuses why not to work out, so in order to reduce this downside we need to find somewhere that’s close to your home.
Like your home! you can’t get much closer than that and if you don’t have the space indoors maybe outdoors in your garden and if you don’t have a garden then find your nearest local park or gym and you’re good to go.
For me I love the fresh outdoors and the beautiful colours in autumn, as long as you’ve got some thermal baselayers, a wooley hat and a pair of warm leggings then you’re good to go, you’ll find the fresh air and exposure to natural daylight will further stimulate your wake cycle.
6.Prepare your meals
Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance…I love that saying!
It’s so true and again it’s all about reducing the limiting factors and your consistent ability to execute your training plan. The beauty about living on a vegan plant based diet is that you don’t have to concern yourself with cooking animal protein and the dangers of keeping it too long.
For me the three most effective meal planning rituals are either (in order of freshness):
- At Breakfast – If you prefer your food a little fresher and to avoid that solid ‘over night in the fridge’ texture, I like to make my meals as I’m preparing my breakfast, as I always make enough time for a good breakfast.
- The Night Before – As you cook dinner make double or triple the amount and place the leftovers into lock tight tupperware tubs that you can take with you to work the next day, even if you work at home it’s always handy to have meals ready to eat there and then.
- Sunday Prep – Many people who prep for shows etc like to prep on a sunday but it can leave your food tasting like cardboard come the middle of the week. However saying that I would suggest prepping your beans, legumes, rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and other grains on a sunday and leave in the fridge for you to use and make quick meals out of, that way you can either spruce them up with a dressing or add them to dishes to reheat. Plus they are easier to cook in bulk.
7.Reach for water
I find that in cold weather we naturally find it harder to drink more water and instead we find ourselves reaching for stimulants, such as coffee to energise us but that sleepiness is more probably due to dehydration and you’ll find if you can get a 500ml bottle of water inside you quickly, it will have a similar effect to coffee and will wake you up instantly.
Water makes up nearly 60% of our body weight, so it stands to reason that we should consume an adequate amount for us to function optimally, so in order to ensure you are taking in adequate fluids throughout the day we can use the following calculation to estimate your daily water intake needs.
- Body weight (kg) x 39 = Approximate water intake in ml
For every kg of bodyweight you should consume 39ml of water, therefore for an 80kg man the calculation would look like this:
- 80 x 39 = 3120 ml or 3 litres
Note: As little as 1-2% reduction in bodyweight from water loss can reduce performance and at 10-20% would lead to death.
Put these 7 tips into practice and exercise your way through the shorter, colder days of autumn and winter, you’ll get in great shape, boosting your hormones and happiness in the process.
If you’re interested in an awesome Home/Outdoors Workout program delivered via my mobile training app then The 21 Day Plant Powered Shred V2 will deliver. You can follow the GYM program whenever you can and switch between the HOME program when life gets a little busy.