With the extended winter we have been ‘blessed’ with and the cold weather which seems never-ending, it can be difficult to find the enthusiasm to exercise outside. Izzie Hensby, first year Creative Writing and Drama student, has put together a series of top tips for all of you who are keen to get fit and and stay healthy all year round.

Photo by Jenny Hill

I always find keeping active outside when the temperature is colder a challenge, especially when the nights draw in early. I’ve found it this winter particularly hard to motivate myself to exercise outside (remember the ‘Beast from the East’?) when I could cosy up at home with a hot chocolate. However, I’ve got a few tips that will help motivate you to chance the outdoors for the next bad weather front.

1. “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”

If you invest in warm active wear, you’ll feel much more comfortable when exercising outside. Wear thermal socks, gloves, snood and hat so you don’t catch a cold. It’s vital to use trainers with a good grip to avoid injuring yourself in icy and wet conditions.

Also, make sure you wear high visibility clothing such as a jacket or laces as it is likely you might exercise in the dark during the winter months. Try to avoid dimly lit paths and roads and take a portable torch in case you it gets too dark.

Photo by Patrick Wittke

2. Create a motivational workout playlist with a high bpm

A great way to stay engaged when exercising is listening to your favourite music. I recommend creating a playlist of songs with a high bpm (beats per minute) which will encourage you to maintain a faster pace when walking or running. The ideal bpm range for running is 160–170bpm. You can do this simply by searching a high bpm on Spotify.

3. Train with a friend

Another useful method of keeping yourself accountable for your workouts is to train with a friend. It is a lot harder to back out of a commitment with a partner than it is if you were just planning to go alone. You will find your workouts more enjoyable if you make them more sociable. In addition to this you will motivate each other to keep up the good work.

Photo by Oscar Soderlund

4. Join a new sports club or team

There are lots of clubs and sports teams that run all-year round that you can get involved with. This may be a local running or hiking club or it may be a sports team. Take this opportunity to try something new that will get you up and moving outdoors.

This is also a great way to meet new people and create a sense of team spirit, and will definitely get you to commit to regular exercise. Have a look at the amazing selection of clubs and societies run by Bath Spa’s Student Union as there’s bound to be something you would enjoy and it offers a great opportunity to meet fellow students with similar interests!

Photo by Jens Moser

5. Set yourself new goals

Providing yourself with a fresh outlook on your exercise routine and setting yourself new fitness goals will help encourage you to achieve your targets. Set yourself a new time or distance goal for your run or try a more strenuous route on your bike. Most importantly, it is important to maintain a positive attitude with your workouts and remember how good you feel afterwards!

I hope these tips help towards you finding some motivation to work out during the colder months. Now that we are finally entering into spring let’s keep our fingers crossed for warmer weather and more opportunities to exercise outside!

Words by Izzie Hensby

Izzie Hensby is a first year Creative Writing and Drama student at Bath Spa University, originally from Hampshire. In her free time, Izzie loves to get involved with different sports and is passionate about fashion and theatre. 

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