The clocks recently went back and the dark nights are beginning to draw in, meaning a cold snap won’t be far behind – a combination which can make even the biggest fitness fanatic call time on their workout to curl up on the couch with a cuppa.
And if you’re in the PT industry this ‘hibernation instinct’ can make for a tricky time.
So here are some top tips on how to keep your clients motivated as the cold, dark nights creep in…
Keep motivated in the winter months
How you tackle this is very much dependent upon what motivates you, or your clients if you’re a PT.
Even if there’s no dip in enthusiasm, many of us struggle getting up in the morning once winter arrives; so there’s a good chance putting off exercise in favour of staying indoors may cross your mind.
Therefore it’s important to address this situation early before you slip into some bad habits, and exercise falls by the wayside until the New Year. If you’re a PT and you’re wide of the mark, your clients will know you’re keeping an eye on them, which should be enough to help maintain motivation levels.
Re-programme your client
Winter invariably brings on a change in attitude to many things, not least exercise. If you’ve been putting your client through the same programme all summer; now is a good time to work out a new regime and freshen things up.
You should also take this opportunity to make sure things are going as your client planned, and they’re meeting their goals. If they’re not meeting, or have lost sight of their goals, now is a good time to reassess things and, if necessary, reset targets to make sure they’re still a motivating factor.
Acclimatise your client
A cold snap can be a real shock to the system, particularly if you’re falling out of bed and into a five-mile outdoor run – so make sure your clients’ get time to adjust to the dark, cold mornings and evenings.
If possible, take your client through an indoor warm up routine, combining low-level aerobic exercises and stretching before pounding the pavements. Get your client to ‘layer up’, so they can peel them off as their body temperature increases.
If you have a number of clients who train alone but follow a similar programme, now could be a good time to get a few of them together for an additional group session, as having a peer group to work with can be a great motivator.
During winter you need to be especially mindful of the health of your client as colds are more common in winter. While you don’t have to stop exercising just because you feel under the weather, it’s important not to exercise if you have a fever – that is, if your body temperature is 38°C (100.4°F) or above.
A high temperature is sometimes a symptom of a cold, and exercising with a fever could make things worse and delay recovery time.
So keep an eye on your client and do what’s best for them - even if that means an evening curled up on the couch with a cuppa.