Motivating Clients During Winter
Unfortunately, many personal trainers see a decline in sessions over the colder months. As the temperature drops, so can the motivation of your clients. Cold and dark mornings make it more difficult to get out of bed and work out, and many people lose sight of their fitness goals during this time. As a trainer, it is essential that you understand and communicate the benefits of training in winter to your clients. Ensure you take a strategic approach and encourage your clients, giving them an extra push during this time.
We have come up with some tips to deal with those winter blues and help your clients stay on top of their fitness goals.
An Effective Warm-Up
Warming up the body before a workout is essential regardless of the season, however, winter makes it even more crucial. It’s necessary to increase the amount of time spent warming up in winter. Stephen D Ball, PhD professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri recommends doubling your regular warmup and starting slowly because it’s tougher for your body to exercise in lower temperatures.
A proper warm-up during winter is also essential due to the increased risk of injury caused by the cold. The drop in temperature can cause the blood vessels to constrict, thickening the blood and increasing the risk of heart complications. Warm-up movements get more blood flowing to your muscles so they respond quickly and become more flexible and less prone to injury.
The best way to warm up in the cold it to start with aerobic movements first. Generally, a warm-up includes both aerobic and
flexibility components, and performing the aerobic part first will immediately warm the body. It will also help to prevent injury, as
performing flexibility movements, or stretches on ‘cold’ muscles can be very harmful and lead to injury.
Some ideas for aerobic warm-up movements that you can pass on to your clients include:
- Running on the spot
- Jumping jacks
- Squat jumps
- High knees
- Leg kicks
Adjusting exercises to suit the season is essential. For example, some clients may usually love training outside, but this may need to change when the cold hits. For example, runners might use the treadmill as an alternative during this time, while those who enjoy cycling might want to take a spin class instead of their usual outdoor session.
Another idea is to adjust the timing of sessions. For some, jumping out of bed in the early hours of the morning can be a breeze in summer,
but when the cold and dark winter mornings arrive, it might not be so easy. It might be worth suggesting an afternoon session if your
client no longer enjoys mornings. However, it’s also common for people to want to stay in on winter evenings. For these clients,
morning sessions may work better! Simply have a chat with your client to figure out if their training routine needs to be adjusted to the
Encourage a Recurring Routine
Have an honest chat with your client about their goals and level of dedication, particularly with those who you have noticed a decline in sessions, or a high cancellation rate. Many people don’t realise that the reason for their loss of motivation is due to the season, so it’s a good idea to let your clients know that ‘winter blues’ are a very real thing. Ask them if they feel it might be affecting them, and suggest ways that you can help. For example, choosing a set day/time weekly is likely to be an effective motivating tool. When people have a set routine, they are more likely to stick to their fitness routines and avoid cancellation. There’s no doubt that your clients will also appreciate your honesty and genuine care for their well-being!
So there you have it! These tips aim to play a role in tackling those winter blues. But just remember, winter doesn't last forever, so get creative and stay motivated this year.
If you’re looking for more tips for staying on track this winter, why not connect with one of our personal trainers? Search the directory now!