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Keeping Health and Fitness on the Agenda this Winter

Carving pumpkins, batch cooking hearty soups for the freezer, the new series of The Crown on Netflix, releasing a favourite jumper from it’s summer storage – we all mark the coming of autumn in our own individual way.

As the seasons shift, I’ve often noticed a real gear change in attitudes towards fitness amongst my clients and friends. It gets harder to make time at the end of the working day (or when the kids are in bed) to exercise outside before the light fades. Our instinct to hunker down kicks in. Warming stews become preferable to squats.

I’ve always had a keen interest in the positive impact of exercise on both mental and physical health and it strikes me as ironic that as the colder months approach our motivation to move goes into a nosedive just at the time when we should be most mindful of investing in our wellbeing.

Many of us are also heading into autumn and winter with nagging concerns around rising energy bills having already stomached the burden of increases to our weekly shop this year (not to mention the fastest rise in food prices on record hitting us all in September 2022).

Whether it’s hibernation or inflation, there are forces at play to challenge even the most dedicated of my clients and lead them to question the amount of time and money they spend on their own health and fitness. Which is why it’s important for me to help them find ways to work around this and turn a potential decline in incentive to keep active into manageable fitness goals.

I’m currently developing some exciting resources to flex around my clients’ needs and budgets. My Gemma Kelly Fitness App is designed to meet people where they are with their fitness and take them to where they want to be, offering different levels of interaction from choosing your own workouts on a subscription basis to a 1-2-1 bespoke programme including nutrition coaching and accountability.

As a mum of two small girls, I also appreciate making the time to exercise is MORE than half the battle. The beauty of training with my GKF App is you can do the workouts from your phone whenever you get that time off and you can even select workouts based on how long you have to do them. Whilst on the topic of mum life, “why would you use your time off to workout” I hear you say. My rationale for this is very same as my motivation to keep up the training throughout winter. Motherhood is not the ‘Winter of my Life’ (a fitting phrase for this blog). Exercise makes us feel happier, healthier and stronger, it boosts waning energy levels (more sustainably than that caffeine hit) in order to achieve all the things motherhood demands of us.

I’m also a huge advocate of making the most of opportunities in your local area and if the thought of a gym membership sets financial alarm bells ringing then why not try some of the great local pay as you go classes at your local village hall / leisure centre. I run a weekly Strength and Conditioning Class at the St Briavel's Assembly Rooms on a Wednesday night. I LOVE this class, for one it brings together a lovely local group of women (it has become something of a weekly social). Local classes can be a great way toward keeping the motivation levels up through community spirit and maintaining the level of consistency that is required to achieve fitness goals. All without the strain of a monthly subscription fee and in turn supporting small local businesses.

In a world full of pressures – be they financial, professional, emotional or simply feelings of overwhelm, I believe we have to try and be kind to ourselves whilst also recognising that any efforts we make to maintain fitness through the months ahead can only pay dividends by strengthening not only our bodies but our minds as well, boosting morale and self-esteem.

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