Your Winter Motivation Guide
We know Winter can be a slog. That's why we've put together this guide on the benefits of exercise for banishing the seasonal blues. So, let's get up and moving!Shop Protein Now
Why is motivation harder in Winter?
An unhappy concoction of less sunlight, colder temperatures and often rainy, miserable weather means that moods and motivation tend to slump during Winter. And that's not even to mention the increased frequency of bugs and viruses that circulate during this time, wreaking additional havoc with your physical wellbeing. While the Winter blues affect some more than others (hence the approximate 3% of the population who suffer with full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (source & further information), the vast majority of people experience a drop in Winter motivation in some form or another. You are most certainly not alone in finding work, exercise or even socialising harder as the days draw shorter.
Scientifically speaking, there are bucket loads of reasons why motivation dips in Winter. Probably the most pronounced of these is lack of Vitamin D, the result of shorter daylight hours. The so-called 'Sunshine Vitamin', Vitamin D acts as a 'neurosteroid', playing an important role in nerve growth, stimulation and maintenance (source). It has also been linked to reducing symptoms of depression and negative motivations (source). Basically Vitamin D is kind of a big deal, so when your access to it is limited, no wonder your desire to head out to the gym or put on a fresh load of washing follows suit.
How does exercise boost motivation & productivity?
Ironic as it may seem, exercise may hold the key to your Winter motivation problems.
When you exercise, your body releases the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which have been shown to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Getting active also increases the production of endorphins, producing sensations of happiness and keeping you motivated (source).
Studies particularly show that regular, scheduled exercise helps to boost your overarching sense of motivation. Sticking to a consistent routine makes it easier for your body and mindset to get used to the idea of needing to be up-and-about at a certain time, making your workout less of a shock to the system.
Beyond that, exercise also offers the benefit of better sleep. Those who exercise regularly (ideally at least 2-3 hours prior to sleep) typically get to sleep faster, sleep for longer and spend more time in deep sleep (source). Consequently, you'll wake up feeling more refreshed and with the energy to battle those Winter blues.
The problem: Are you stuck in a motivation rut?
Understanding that exercise can boost motivation is all well and good, but what if you don't have the motivation to exercise in the first place? We get it... it's a vicious circle.
Especially those with diagnosable SAD, just making the step to start exercising can be extremely difficult.
Again, the main things we want to reiterate here are that:
1. You're not alone
2. There are provable, hormonal reasons behind this
3. There are ways to help
The answer: Shake up your routine...
6 Tips For Boosting Your Winter Motivation
1. Keep a motivation diary
Keeping a log of your day-to-day motivation helps you to see how much it can fluctuate over time and takes the guilt away from those low motivation days. One trick is to also use this exercise like a Reverse To-Do List and log all your daily achievements. This way you can see that, even on days when motivation was low, you were able to get some things - however small - accomplished.
2. Do exercise that you find fun
Exercise doesn't just have to mean HIIT classes, benching weights or running 10kms... anything that gets your heart rate going will help with your motivation. From walking the dog to a kickabout in the park, dance sessions to family bike rides... have fun with your exercise and choose activities that you enjoy!
3. Don't exercise alone
Motivation loves company. You'll find that it's so much easier to get active when there's a social aspect to what you're doing, and you're part of a group that can all spur each other along. Whether it's a gym buddy or an entire rugby squad, get your people involved!
4. See what fits into your everyday routine
You'll be surprised how easily you can fit exercise into your day-to-day routine. Consider cycling to work, walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift, or an hour or two using a standing desk. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll notice an uplift in your fitness and mood after just a few small lifestyle switches.
5. Set yourself a specific goal
It's easy to succumb to a lack of motivation when you don't have a clear direction you're heading in. Join a challenge, sign up for a race, set yourself a target for what you're wanting to get our of your exercise... give yourself more of a reason to work out than just because you should.
6. Fuel your body with For Goodness Shakes!
Our ready-to-drink Protein Shake is designed to offer that extra boost you need to get up and moving this Winter. High in protein, low in fat and with Vitamin D, it's the optimal proactive drink to equip your body for a busy day or motivation-lifting workout.
Meet the For Goodness Shakes Protein Shake...
This For Goodness Shakes drink is a high protein low-fat delicious shake packed with 25g of premium quality whey and casein milk protein rich in branched-chain amino acids and glutamine. It also contains vitamin B12, niacin and riboflavin to help reduce tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin D & calcium support healthy bones. Making this option a nutritious on the go, high protein drink.
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