Training Tips For Staying Sharp In Cold & Icy Weather

Training Tips For Staying Sharp In Cold & Icy Weather

As the mercury continues to drop, you may be finding it harder to keep to your training routine. Colder weather and shorter days mean that getting out and about takes a lot more motivation than it does during the warmer months. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of my clients struggle to keep active in this weather too.

Cold, icy weather doesn’t mean you have to sit still; there are plenty of ways to motivate yourself into moving more. So today I’m sharing my top tips to help you stay sprightly in the freezing days.

Call A Colleague

It’s easy to talk yourself out of exercising, but if you make plans to train with a fellow referee you’re more likely to keep to it. Not only is exercising with someone else more enjoyable and sociable, you’re less likely to let them down, earache can be a great motivator!

It’s worth training with someone who has the same exercise goals as you, and who is normally motivated to workout, that way you won’t feel intimidated by what they can achieve and you’re less likely to talk them out of training!

Make A Plan

Writing your training sessions into a diary, whether that’s on paper or on your phone, formalises your intentions, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your plans.

Another helpful tip is to add fitness goals into your diary, so you know what you’re working towards, for example ‘Do a HIIT session’, ‘beat a personal best’ etc. By adding your goals, as well as your sessions, keeps in mind what you’re working towards, so you’re more motivated to get up and get moving.  When plotting your goals, it’s better to make them incremental, if you start out with just one massive target, it can actually put you off.

Take Things Indoors

Exercising outside in icy weather is not something enjoyable and can also be off-putting for safety reasons, exercising indoors can be a perfect way to ensure you stay sharp ahead of matchday.

The most obvious indoor choice is to join a gym, many gyms offer shorter term or no contracts, you just need to ask. Joining a gym is also a good way to ensure you get a full body workout. Spending some time in the gym can help improve your strength and stability. It’s not all about training, you can run, cycle and even swim at the gym!

If you don’t fancy something formalised, there are plenty of videos online with games and activities the whole group can get involved in, and the NHS website has short workout videos that you can do in your own home.

Class Act

Many gyms, leisure centres and community hubs run a variety of classes – from yoga, to spinning to Clubbercise. Some gyms don’t require you to hold a membership to attend classes so you can just ‘pay as you go.’ Like exercising with a friend, formally booking a class acts as a catalyst to get you out and about

Dress To Impress

We’ve all heard the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing,” and when it comes to winter training and matchdays, this definitely rings true. Being cold or wet when you exercise isn’t pleasant and can give you an excuse to cut your sessions short. You don’t need to splash out on expensive kit, many supermarkets stock good quality sports equipment. During autumn and winter make sure you have gloves, a hat, waterproof and warm layers, especially if you’re training outside. Those with underlying health conditions can feel the cold more and become unwell quickly, always make sure people in these groups are properly dressed appropriately for the weather and temperature.

Club Together

Another way to keep motivated is to join a club. This could be a running or cycling club, an after-work football meet-up, or a Sunday afternoon sports session. Joining a club isn’t just group motivation, it makes exercising a fun, sociable experience, great if you’re new to the area or need some motivation to get moving.

Safety First

Whatever the weather, or time of year, it’s vitally important to be prepared for what the weather is going to throw at us. Always make sure you look at the forecast and dress/carry clothing that is appropriate. Carry a space blanket with you if you’re training or undertaking any activity outdoors, especially if you are off the beaten track.

Cold weather puts a strain on the vascular system (your heart and blood vessels), so if you have an underlying health condition, choose to exercise indoors when the weather is icy and frosty.

If the ground is wet, slippy or icy, be careful, a slip, trip or fall could keep you from refereeing for weeks. If you, or anyone you are exercising with, becomes cold/wet or can’t feel their fingers/toes, get them to a warm, dry place – if they become disorientated or unresponsive, call the emergency services.

Enjoy Yourself

During cold, darker days, when it’s harder to motivate yourself to move, why not choose an activity you really enjoy doing? This way exercising won’t seem like a chore, but will become a fun, relaxing part of the day.

At The Third Team I work individually and in collaboration with different professionals where I have developed workshops and 1-2-1 sessions associated with Resilience and Mental Toughness Development to help referees. The workshops and 1-2-1 sessions are interactive, where referees are encouraged to open up and share their experiences to help themselves and each other.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more about my workshops or 1-2-1 sessions and how I could help you or your officials.

Best Wishes,

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Nathan Sherratt

Referee Educator & Managing Director of The Third Team

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Nathan Sherratt

Nathan Sherratt, Referee Educator, Resilience Trainer and Managing Director of The Third Team.  A Mental Toughness Practitioner based in County Durham, North East England.