Kate Staples: The Boot Camp - Staying motivated

Former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Kate Staples explains why winter training can be fun (honest...)

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2009

Former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Kate Staples explains why winter training can be fun (honest...)

As the clocks go back, it is hard not to lament the passing of the summer. Darker and colder mornings make it much less appealing to jump out of bed, put your training gear on and venture outside. If you can get through this initial struggle, however, the rewards can be far greater.

With fewer people outside on the streets, you can have the parks to yourself. Surrey’s crowded greens and pavements that are full of dodging joggers during the summer months are all yours from October to March. There is a real sense of satisfaction knowing you are one of the few to be braving the English winter, committed to making a real difference to your life. Your blood will be circulating extremely quickly to counter the cold, you will be drawing in lots of oxygen, whilst serotonin will be released into your brain, affecting your mood and giving you an amazing feeling of well-being that will last all day.  

Worth the effortAfterwards, you will have noticeably more energy and mental alertness and, most importantly, you will be able to really congratulate yourself on your efforts. If you are training on your own, it is vitally important to find somewhere well lit and to let someone know where you will be going. I always recommend training with a friend – this can give you the impetus to keep going, no matter how early and cold it is – and you can really motivate each other, as well as feeling secure.

Attendance on our boot camps is always extremely high during the winter months, as our ladies look for support, camaraderie and a shared goal when the weather is against us. Helping someone else is often the best way to motivate yourself, and there is no greater feeling than being part of a friend or training partner reaching their goal. 

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Remember, training works best if you can create a regime that you are comfortable with and that you can stick to. Trying to set yourself unrealistic targets can work against you as hitting these goals will give you the boost to push yourself. 

This is about a realistic change in your life that you can maintain and build upon; quick fixes and crash diets may sound like a good idea at the time, but they are invariably impossible and unhealthy to continue. This is the time to plan a training schedule that works for you this winter, so get motivated and get outside – you will see the benefits, I promise!

Kate Staples runs Adventure Boot Camps across the South-East. See www.fitnesscamp.co.uk

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