How to exercise when it’s cold and dark, according to Jesinta’s trainer

Ditch the doona temptation with this celebrity PT’s top 5 motivation tricks. 

The gravitational pull of the bed is strong at 6am, especially when it’s cold and dark outside.

But just because the sun’s taken off on a southern hemisphere sojourn doesn’t mean your fitness routine should be placed in the shade.

Here celebrity personal trainer and Pure Warrior ambassador Dan Adair shares his secrets to staying motivated in the winter for a summer-body all year round. Now heads down…

1. Focus on the benefits

Remind yourself of the benefits exercise brings you. “Working out can help you lose weight, manage your stress levels, gain more energy and feel good,” explains Adair. Plus, a study of 1000 adults published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed moderate levels of exercise can boost your immune system and improve your defenses against winter coughs and colds. Win! Get a piece of paper and write down all the ways exercise adds to the quality of your life. Stick it on the fridge and read it regularly, especially when you’re feeling particularly blah.

2. Set a goal

In the summer, getting in shape before you hit the sand is a common, albeit shallow goal. But there’s no reason why the same goal-setting principle won’t work in winter too, says Adair. “When the fitness goals that were set for summer no longer apply, it’s time to make some new ones,” recommends Adair. Some ideas? Completing a hot yoga 30-day challenge, taking up a winter sport (hello footy), signing up to a running event (and rejoicing that your face won’t melt off) or going big on box jumps like Dan.

3. Hit refresh on your playlist

The weather sucks, so it’s time for some new tunes to get you going. Research by neuroscientist Jessica Grahn has shown the best songs to workout to are between 120 and 140 beats per minute. “My favourite playlist on Spotify is Rap Caviar,” says Adair.

4. Reinvigorate your routine

A new season offers a chance to refresh your workout routine which, let's be honest, could probably do with a little excitement. Plus, less people around the gym means more opportunity to try that machine there's always a queue for, or a class you're interested in but is always fully booked. Adair tips boxing as the workout trend you ought to try. “Physically, boxing is a high calorie burner compared to other exercises. It also builds lean muscle and strengthens your bones and ligaments. You'll quickly increase your cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, core strength, speed and power. Mentally, it's a great stress relief and incredible for confidence and self-esteem.” Right then, pass us the gloves, please.

5. Don’t try to out-train a bad diet

Easy there, there’s a reason you crave pizza more in winter than summer. The lack of sunlight can decrease serotonin levels in your brain, triggering cravings for comforting carbs like buttery mashed potato and toast. “Unfortunately these foods won’t help your exercise,” says Adair. “Try to satisfy these cravings with low GI, healthy carbs instead like sweet potatoes, wholegrain pasta or oats.” It’s also important you get the protein needed for muscle growth and repair. “Women often don’t eat enough protein so it’s worth looking at your diet and making sure you are getting enough to meet the demands that you place on your body when you exercise,” the Pure Warrior powered by Swisse ambassador says.

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fitness | body+soul