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How to stay energised for winter workouts

October 30, 2014
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As winter hits, the cold and wet weather make for easy excuses to avoid exercise. However, this can leave you feeling tired as well as causing you to lose your fitness level. Exercise is a great way of fighting fatigue and staying energised throughout the winter months, as well as improving your muscle strength and boosting your endurance. Cyclist Joanna Rowsell, who took home an Olympic gold medal at the London 2012 games, reveals her top tips for fighting winter fatigue… Scroll below for Joanna's top tips

Joanna reveals her secrets to staying energised during the colder months
Schedule exercise

In the run up to Christmas, diaries get busier with lots of social events. Make sure you schedule in exercise, even if it's just for half an hour, at least three times a week and stick to it like you would any other appointment. On days when you don't exercise, try a brisk walk during your lunch break – it's a great way to perk yourself up for the afternoon!

Set goals

I always set short term goals week by week. Whether it's to cycle a certain distance or complete a certain number of hours of training a week, goals keep you focused and motivated.

Get outside

Winter doesn't always mean rain and wind – make the most of crisp, sunny days and get outdoors. I love going out for a bike ride on days like this, and you soak up some sunrays!

Mix it up

If you're bored of the treadmill, add some winter sports! Try ice skating or indoor skiing. Making exercise fun and exciting will ensure it's something to look forward to, rather than a chore.

Joanna Rowsell (right) and teammates Laura Trott and Lizzie Armitstead won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics
Ramp it up

Short, hard workouts are often easier to motivate yourself to do rather than a length exercise regime. Do different types of functional moves like burpees, followed by mountain climbers to mix things up. There's lots of apps you can download to give you ideas.

Think long term

Even as a professional athlete there are days when the weather's bed and I'd prefer to stay in bed, but I remind myself of the long term goal. Whether it's a competition coming up or a target weight you are trying to reach, remind yourself of the bigger picture and how it will pay off long term.

Eat a balanced diet

My mantra is everything in moderation! The key to a healthy diet is balance, so as well as keeping on top of my fruit and veg, I will treat myself to chocolate or cake when I've worked hard.

Have motivating mantras

To motivate yourself to exercise, remember that the benefits include a better mood, and reducing stress. It's true that you will never regret a work out, but you might possibly regret NOT doing one.

Joanna recommends yoga classes in the evening for relaxation
Try home workouts

Work out DVDs are great for rainy days. When you get in from work, instead of sitting on the sofa, put on your favourite work out DVD. It's also a great way to save time in busy weeks. Exercises like planks, sit ups and press ups will all help you tone up and can be easily done in the comfort of your sitting room in just a few minutes.


If you don't recover from the exercise you're doing, you won't get the gains. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy routine. One good way to get good sleep is by taking a yoga class in the evening, as it's great for relaxation. Plus, it's indoors so there's no excuse not to go when it's cold outside!

Maintain your iron

To help maintain energy levels and oxygen efficiency I take Spatone Apple, a natural liquid iron food supplement every morning. It’s great to take if you are exercising over winter, and is easy on the stomach.

Spatone is available from Boots, and Holland & Barrett priced at £10.55 for 28 sachets (4 weeks supply). For more info visit

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