Festive Fitness Tips from Virgin Active's Head of Group Exercise Israel Rivera

 

With the Festive season literally around the corner we spoke to Virgin Active’s Head of Group Exercise Israel Rivera to see if the winter elements should change anything with your workout routine.

Virgin Active Gym Kensington

Should fitness routines change in winter? If so, how?

The short answer is no! The key to a successful fitness lifestyle is discipline.  While your fitness routine should be tailored to your own goals and your body’s needs, the key is to stay with what works and what will keep you dedicated and disciplined, especially with the temptation of skipping a workout during the holiday season.  Keep it simple.  Stay dedicated.  Stay disciplined. Since this is the season of giving, treat yourself to a trainer. I’d rather spare myself the extra coffees or lunches out and bank the savings for my sessions.  My health and future are worth the investment. The festive period is all about enjoyment and the key to year round fitness is to develop an exercise routine you enjoy and be consistent. Being disciplined and accountable to your fitness commitments is a good strategy to keep up the good work even on colder days.

What is the biggest mistake people make when exercising during winter?

Virgin Active’s Head of Group Exercise Israel Rivera

The biggest mistake people make in the winter months is to stop exercising! When it’s cold and dark it can be easy to make excuses and skip a work out – I find the simplest strategy is to plan and commit to your workouts. Taking too much time off from your workouts can ruin months of hard work! It’s important to keep it simple, but I find the “old school” tricks still work well:

  • Get a workout buddy – they provide support, accountability and motivation.  Sometimes, they offer a little friendly competition.  Mine keeps me honest in every sense of the word when it comes to staying true to my fitness goals.  

  • Personal Plan – set specific goals, i.e. marathon and triathlon training, graduation, weddings, etc.  Something to make the journey enjoyable and worthwhile!

  • Apps – find something that works for you.  Book in your classes, I like the Virgin Active app for scheduling my classes and planning my week of workouts.  I appreciate the reminders throughout the week to prompt me when my next workout is coming up!

Considering it's the festive period and we're eating more but it's darker etc.. how many times a week do you recommend people exercise?

The age-old adage of “calories in versus calories out” still applies.  If you want that little extra treat at the holiday party, well, then get yourself that little extra burn in a class.  Again, the key is to commit to a goal, if you made an agreement with yourself about the number of sessions you will complete that week you are much more likely to be successful. In the festive season, social events can begin to dominate calendars, working out with a friend is a great way to shake up your routine and make each session count. When it comes to fitness goals, consistency is the gateway to success. If you have a workout buddy, for example, you reduce the chances of missing your workout simply by remembering that you too are helping someone else stay accountable to their goals.