As the winter months descend, many people lose the motivation to exercise and this can be a time when clients start fading away. However, it is important to communicate to them that there are many benefits to exercising in winter – especially if they suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Research has shown that keeping active and being outdoors can help to dramatically reduce symptoms and improve mood.
One of the best ways to keep clients motivated is to keep yourself driven. To stay at the top of your game you need to have the right clothing and equipment. Here’s our guide to what should absolutely be in your kit bag this winter.
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing
A phrase famously uttered by fellwalker, author and illustrator Alfred Wainwright, it should be your mantra if you run sessions in the great outdoors. Wainwright was writing in the middle of the last century before the widespread use of Gore-Tex and tech wear – so nowadays there is no excuse not to be ready for whatever the weather brings.
The key to suitable winter clothing is layering, but don’t go overboard as you can easily overheat. Exercise physiologist Dr Michael Bracko told the Telegraph “Just two or three layers is fine. And steer clear of cotton and go for clothing made from a combination of wool and synthetics to transport moisture away from your skin.”
The most important layer to get right is the one touching your skin. Known as a base layer, it’s vital that it touches as much of your torso as possible, so that it takes away sweat. When you’re active but the temperature is cold, you will still sweat. If you’re wet when you start to cool down, you can get very cold indeed, and potentially sick.
In winter, there’s a chance you may be running sessions in the dark. If so, you need to make sure that you and your clients are all wearing reflective clothing. Even if conducting classes during the day, it is still advisable to wear some reflective gear, as in winter visibility can be poor at any time of day and the weather can be unpredictable!
We are used to the idea that in warm weather we need to keep hydrated, but we also need to stay just as hydrated in winter. It can be easy to get dehydrated in winter because we are not sweating as much and therefore think we don’t need as much water, but in fact, our hydration levels don’t change much throughout the year. So make sure you keep fluids with you and encourage your clients to drink steadily.
Gadgets, as a rule, do not like the cold – especially iPhones. When the temperature drops, iPhones and other gadgets can behave erratically. Batteries drain quickly, they switch themselves off to regulate their temperature and even the touch screen may stop responding. If you are training outside, you can counteract this problem by making sure all your gadgets are fully charged up before each session. Also, keep a battery pack on hand and make sure your phone is in a lined pocket close to your body when not in use.
Whether you train inside or out, every personal trainer needs specialist personal trainer insurance. Insure4Sport offers flexible cover, meaning you only pay for the cover that you need. Get a quote today!