Editorial,  Features


 The lovely people at Neat Nutrition offer advice on holding off the Autumnal slump…

It’s official. The leaves are starting to fall and Summer is over. Gone are the hazy evenings sipping Aperol, beach holidays and going ‘out-out’ on weeknights. Autumn is just around the corner, the time of year when it’s harder than ever to motivate yourself to workout and far too tempting to watch Netflix with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Little wonder that people have been proven to be consistently less active as the days get shorter[1], and that in winter, we develop a lower level of happiness called ennui.[2]This is basically low-level dissatisfaction, which we get when it’s cold, wet and dark, which in turn leaves us lethargic – and with no desire whatsoever to hit the gym.

Worry not though, as the experts at Neat Nutrition have shared their top tips on how to stay motivated to workout this season; leaving you feeling positive and energised, just in time for Christmas indulgences.

Biebs is Out, Mozart is In

The start of a new season means it’s time to bump Despactio off your workout playlist and fill it up with some new tunes. It’s long been accepted that there is a direct emotional link between music and the motivation to exercise[3] and genres usually associated with this include fast-paced Pop, Dance and Hip Hop. However, recent studies[4] have shown that classical music is the answer, having been proven to lower stress, whilst driving feelings of relaxation, resulting in a positive state of mind and lifted mood.

Get an Object of Desire

We’re not saying that your HIIT session should be used as an excuse to float around gazing adoringly at the PT (not unless you’re jumping around exercising at the same time, in which case, go for it and enjoy). That having been said, it is scientifically proven that channelling lust into exercise boosts your expenditure of energy[5] Not only this, but another study[6] has proven that 97% of people who hit on someone at the gym is successful, ending in either a date, relationship or hook-up. Need we say more? Get crushing.


Swap the PJ’s with athleisure

Wouldn’t it be easier to get out of bed in the morning and get in a workout session if you were already dressed? In actual fact, you are far more likely to exercise in the morning if you sleep in your workout gear[7]. Yes, it might feel unhygienic, but no one needs to know, and it can mean the difference between you getting up and working out, versus hitting snooze and rolling over. You’ll be showering post-workout anyway, and think of all the time you’ll save wrestling with your Lycra at 6am.

The Future is Orange

Investing in some new gym kit can be the most effective incentive to workout. After all, who doesn’t want to show off a bright new pair of kicks or sculpting leggings? However, make sure you pick colours wisely, as studies have shown that colours can greatly affect mood[8], with green being the most calming and yellow being the ‘happiest’ of colours. It’s orange that you need to look out for though, proven to be the most motivational colour of them all, building energy, motivation and enthusiasm.

Plan a post-workout Meal

Planning your post-workout meal can lead to a more successful workout. As many of us are motivated by food, visualizing a delicious meal, snack or shake could be the key to getting up and making it through a tough session. Plan a nice dinner or after a weekend workout, meet friends for a healthy brunch, or if you are on-the-go heading to workout, refuel with a protein shake with peanut butter, chocolate and banana. This tastes like a ‘treat’ but is really a healthy and effective way to help repair and recover.

845222_in_xlCreate a Rewards Card

Treat rewards like a coffee club card, whereby each gym session or workout counts as one ‘stamp’. Once you have collected ‘ten stamps’ for example, reward yourself with something you really want. Whether this is pizza and ice cream, that new handbag you have had your eye on, or tickets to a gig. Studies have shown that working towards an end goal with the desired reward can be the most effective form of motivation[9]. Not only this, but you’ll feel a great sense of achievement. Go on, you deserve it.