The winter brings plenty of challenges, whether it’s dark nights and short days that zap your motivation or bad weather that makes the gym seem like far too much of a chore. Staying fit in the cold, dark weather can be tough for even the most dedicated athlete. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can beat the winter struggle and emerge bigger, bulkier and stronger than ever.
Eat to build muscle (and indulge!)
The winter means comfort food. Warming meals that fill you up are a must – but luckily this fits in with the idea of a winter bulk and your muscle building plans. You should be eating slightly above your caloric maintenance level in order to gain weight – but use this as an excuse to cook lots of healthy food as opposed to limited amounts of junk food.
Basically, junk food has lots of calories but isn’t nutritionally valuable. Proper home cooked meals that incorporate lots of cooked vegetables and lean protein will keep you fuller for longer. With that in mind, consider the following meal ideas:
- Healthy chicken curry
- 5 bean chili and brown rice
- Chunky chicken soup
- Sweet potato pizza
- Salmon and baked potato
Don’t forget to keep your protein intake high, as the body can only build muscle in the presence of protein. To help you accomplish this, make sure you’re supplementing with the best protein powder you can find.
Work out at home
When it’s cold and dark, heading to the gym might not be an option. Don’t skip your workout entirely, as this can lead to getting stuck in a bad pattern and not hitting any of your goals throughout the winter. Instead, you should replan a routine to something you can perform at home. For instance, if you want to work on adding mass, do the following:
- 3 x 12 Press Ups
- 3 x 12 Tricep Dips (use a chair for support)
- 3 x 12 Wide Arm Press Ups
- 3 x 12 Pull Ups (use a pull up bar)
- 3 x 20 Jump Squats
While this may not replicate the same tension as heavy weights, it’s better than skipping your workout entirely. If you’re trying to cut in winter, use the stairs in your home to do hill sprints. Basically, don’t let winter beat you. Fight through it and you’ll emerge fitter than ever.
The darkness of winter doesn’t just sap your motivation, it also physically depletes your Vitamin D levels. As Vitamin D is essential for healthy body function, you need to keep your levels up – so add a vitamin D supplement to your diet to help carry you through winter and keep your energy levels high.
Winter is all about trying to stay fit and healthy when the temptation to stay in and get takeaway food is high. Keep your motivation on track by eating healthily, using quality UK supplements and working out whenever and wherever you can.