Queen Fitness on 7 ways to beat the winter exercise slump
Indulging in warming foods and binging on series might seem like a great idea, but winter is actually the perfect season to work on your summer body. Stay motivated with these tips from Insta celeb and personal trainer Mapule Ndhlovu
Meet Mapule Ndhlovu, 27, a fitness trainer from Alexandra also known as Queenfitnass on Twitter and Instagram (when you check out her fitness videos and photos, you will know why the name fits).
Ndhlovu says this far in to the new year, and with winter coming, is called slump season - when we start to slack off on exercise and eating well.
Her tips to beat slump season:
1. GET ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow people who will motivate you. It is the easiest thing to learn how to exercise right by watching the experts on their social media. Information is everywhere and you can cross reference on Google. It helps you even when you are at home and can't get out to exercise (see workout below).
2. GET FRIENDLY
If you know you are not motivated, get your friends to nag you. Train with a friend with a goal in mind - a marathon, timed runs or even a weight-loss goal.
3. DON'T STUFF YOURSELF
We know how we like to indulge in warming foods but you can do it in a smart way. Try hearty foods with not too much fat and avoid protein with unhealthy sauces. Try to keep it clean and balanced when you do indulge. Lots of spicy veggie soups, water, eat your fruit and protein. Green tea with not too much sugar is a good swap for hot chocolate.
Resting is important, to rejuvenate. If you overwork yourself, you can fall off the wagon and be off the gym for days.
It depends on you and your goals, but if exercising is your lifestyle you'll be at the gym every day. Take it easy by doing a stretch class one day, then another day you can work hard - and you won't get bored. It also doesn't have to be an hour every time. Do 30 minutes, until you have your energy for a 45 minutes to an hour workout.
5. DRESS IT UP
Keep warm, especially post-workout, so you don't expose yourself to the cold. There are nice long-sleeved tops that are good for training. Make sure you shower afterwards to get your temperature right, avoid flu bugs and keep warm to avoid colds.
6. FIND A TRIBE
It's a win-win for me and the people around me if we are healthy and active. If you are around people who aren't health conscious, active and look after their well-being, you will be too. Gamify your workouts. Have a mini-competition with your friends. Keep a distance goal, or a weight loss one (that is realistic).
Be the leader who encourages, or the follower if you need motivation.
7. BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR HEAD
Exercise is not just about the body but fighting obesity, chronic diseases and depression in your mind. What you can't see on your body could affect you more. Especially when the weather is chilly, do "feel-good" things, like running for charity, that is inspiring me at the moment - running for those who can't. It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
CAN'T GET THE GYM? TRY QUEEN FITNESS' HOME WORKOUT
Get a rope. "Skipping is my favourite for cardio, to keep the heart muscle in shape," she says.
Then, do 10 reps of squats and lunges for the lower body.
Skip again, for your heart.
Next, 10 sit-ups, crunches and/or planks for core. Do what is within your fitness capability. Watch your back!
Round 5: tricep dips. Sit on the floor with bent knees. Rest on your arms behind you, shoulder width apart. Push up using your bum. Start on the floor, or if you are fitter, use a box or chair for elevation. Straighten your legs when you can.
For the upper body. Push-ups are great, start with hands shoulder-width apart. To target different muscle groups, bring your elbows closer to body, then push. Up. If you can, do a closer-grip push-up or diamond push-up if you can. This means your arms are closer together (create a diamond with your hands).