When I first mentioned the title of this blog post to one of my besties, I thought her eyes would literally roll into the back of her head. ‘Not you too!’ she cried. ‘Why does everyone keep saying that!?!?’. What followed was a very lengthy debate over our Sour Blood Plum gelatos (Yep…saying good-bye to the last vestiges summer the right way). In the end it was decided: ‘Summer bodies are made all year round…but winter is the best time to start and pick up some good habits!’

The discussion continued as we walked to our local wine bar. Trust me, if you think about it – a red wine after gelato, to welcome in the colder months makes perfect sense! I won’t tell how long it took but by the end of the night we had a list of habits to start over the winter months that would help making steps towards our summer bodies. Here’s what we came up with.

Don’t focus on the number on the scale
First and fore-most on the list. This something that we all get trapped by. Scales are not necessarily an indication of your progress and when they don’t show what you are expecting, its easy to lose motivation. Instead focus on how you feel and what you see in the mirror.

Stop hitting SNOOZE!

I know, I know…winter mornings are hard! Even it’s just once a week to start with. Put your alarm on the other side of the room if you have to. Instead of hitting the snooze button get out of bed and start your day with a walk or a workout. Try a morning yoga class to limber up and get your energy flowing. Here at Roar we offer a variety of yoga classes facilitated by qualified instructors. You can check out our class timetable here. Better yet round up a group of friends and all go together. It’s a lot harder to come with an acceptable excuse that your friends are going to believe rather than one just for yourself! And if that’s not enough; make sure to leave enough time for a quick coffee and catch up before you all have to dash off to work.

Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting seems to be everywhere these days. For those of you not familiar with IF – it’s an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. There are few different types of fasting, but the more popular version seems to be 16/8 or a 16-hour period of fasting and 8-hour period of eating each day. You can find out more in our previous Benefits of Intermittent Fasting post. I will admit, I got caught in the hype. But with boasted benefits of regulating hormones, reducing insulin resistance, contributing to brain health and helping to reduce belly fat I knew I had to give it a try. Three months in and I’m starting to feel great. Sure, I went through a short period of tiredness while my body adjusted (just hang in there) but I’m starting to feel lighter and brighter. I also feel like my relationship with food has gotten better as well (see impromptu and guiltfree Thursday night gelato above). I eat between 12pm and 8pm most days, so no more late-night snacking in front of the TV and I feel like I am more in tune with my body and its needs.

Dry Brushing
Dry brushing has been around for ages ya’ll. It helps to stimulate the lymphatic system boosting immunity, removes dead skin cells, increases circulation and helps with digestion. So why aren’t more of us doing this? I can only put it down to time and effort but surely those benefits are worth it? I mentioned this to another girlfriend the other day and she admitted to having bought a dry brush but not actually going through with the act. Said dry brush has now been stolen and I am going to make my first attempt at brushing my way to amazing glowing skin even before the dreary winter months are over.

Try HIIT Sessions

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training workouts consist of intensive periods of work followed by a short recovery period (you can read more about HIIT workouts here). These are great if you want to burn lots of calories in a short time and then keep burning even after you leave the gym! Yes, it can be gruelling and yes, you will have to work hard but you will feel like a Champ afterwards (cut to me racing up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art a la Rocky Balboa), it’s great for heart health, will get you warmed up and pumped on those cold mornings or get you back to the couch sooner on those dreary winter afternoons.

Remember why you are doing this!
When I need motivation, I always think of Jennifer Lopez in the Backup Plan when she wakes her boyfriend to show him a pic of what her butt used to look like in college. If I had a booty like that, I would take pictures of it ALL the time! I WILL have a booty like that (note to self… booty burner workouts are on!) and there will be plenty of pics.

Go vegan before 6pm
When the Bestie came up with this one, I almost spluttered my wine all over the table. I’m already fasting for 16 hours a day and you want me to be vegan too? Her proposal is to eat only plant-based food during the day and at night-time you can include animal products. Not only will this help to cut down on your diary (and by that I mean wonderful glorious CHEESE!) intake, but will also make sure you get your recommended daily intake of fruit and veg and all the good nutrients and vitamins that come with them. It will also prep your immune system for the flu season. Not sure if I can deal with this one. In the spirit of this post I will promise to think about trying… Mung beans anyone?

Don’t look at your couch before the gym
Oh! The dreaded couch on a cold winter afternoon. I have succumbed to its lures on many an occasion. Pack your gym gear in the morning and head straight to the gym after work. If you’re like me; if you go home to ‘get changed’ first chances are you will never make it out of the house.

Plan a summer vacation
If you need help with motivation make sure you have something to look forward to. Planning a summer vacation can be one of the best ways to keep that summer body in mind. Whether your goal is packing nothing but a bikini for a trip to Fiji or heading to Japan (because who wouldn’t want two winters in a row?!?) and eating ALL the ramen you can possibly get your hands on after a day on the slopes: having a goal in mind can help to get over that initial hurdle and keep sprinting towards to finish line.

So, that’s it. That’s my plan for picking up some good habit this winter. Not all of these will work for everyone. Find what works for you.