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How to stay motivated to exercise in winter

Written by Fiona October 18 2012

The nights are drawing in, the weather is even worse than this summer and suddenly my motivation for exercise has dwindled. But I have experienced all this before – and I know what to do. I call my sporty friends to find out what they have planned.

The key to staying on the fitness treadmill in the autumn and winter, for me, is to get together with friends. If I say I’ll be somewhere for a run, cycle or swim with someone else then it’s very rare that I will let them down.

Run with pals: So on Saturday I joined my Glasgow Tri Club pals for a 10-mile off-road run. I haven’t run so far for ages and I did find it exhausting, but the chat and camaraderie kept me going through the muddy miles.

Cycle with a club: On Sunday, I hooked up with the Nightingale Cycling Club. Following their annual hill race up Cult Brae, in Strathblane, we headed out on a cheery ride to Drymen. The chat was good and the café stop made the outing even more of a pleasure. If I’d been left to my own devices I would not have cycled because I had tired legs from the run the day before, but being part of a group makes you get out and keep fit.

Yoga with MV: Monday I met up with the Mighty Vickster for our weekly yoga session at her flat. Although I’d worked an office shift and didn’t get to her home until 8.30pm, having the commitment to practise for an hour with Vicky meant that I didn’t skip the much-needed yoga. After the yoga practice we both said how much better we felt – and how we just wouldn’t have done the yoga if we hadn’t arranged to meet.

Swim with WW: On Tuesday morning there came an invite from Wonderwoman Wendy to join her for a swim at her local pool in Balfron. I was dropping Little Miss Outdoors at pony camp in Gartocharn at 9am, so Balfron was not too far away and the swim – in a totally empty pool – meant that I had completed an hour of exercise before 11am.

Run with the dog: And on Wednesday I made a date with Wispa the Wonder Whippet. Wispa has become a lazy whippet and she isn’t a big fan of running when it’s raining. But she has put on a little weight and needed to exercise so I ran a few miles with her. We both started off at a sluggish pace but by the end we were running well and feeling much more energetic.

So, if you’re feeling a little lacklustre and can’t be bothered to go outdoors to keep fit now that the winter is upon us, give a fitness friend a call! You could call me…

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