Winter seems to be the hardest time to keep yourself motivated to exercise. As much as I love Pilates and exercising sometimes all I feel like doing is staying in the warm, feeling cosy with a hot water bottle and my duvet!

When it’s dark and cold outside our hibernation instincts kick in. Even though you enjoy yourself when you’re actually there and know you’ll come away with less aches, can move more easily and have a better night’s sleep, it’s the getting out the house part that seems to be a competition with that voice in your head that wants to talk you out of it.

If this feel like you then here are a few ways I keep my motivation over the winter months.

1) Set Yourself Ready

Make life as easy as possible by getting your Pilates things organised the night before, if you do a morning class, or ready for when you get home from work. Keep your mat by the front door ready to go.

Seeing everything laid out ready will help to register in your brain that you have Pilates today and will help to motivate you to go to your class.

2) Remind Yourself Why

Remember why you started Pilates and all the positives you get from doing a class. Does it help you sleep better, ease back pain, help you to move more easily, give you more energy?

Whatever it is, keep hold of that feeling and remind yourself how you will feel after doing the class.

3) Buddy Up

I know that most of you put your Pilates mat down in the same place every week, with the same person next to you.

Make a point of saying ‘See you next week?’ to the person next to you. Knowing that someone else is counting on you is often enough of a motivator to ensure you don’t miss out.

4) Know your common excuses

If plan to go to your Pilates class and then find you are talking yourself out of leaving the house then try to think ahead to what your common excuses are and have a good comeback ready.

“It’s too cold!” …… “It’s ok, you can wear extra layers, have the heating on in the car, you’ll warm up by exercising, you can have a hot bath when you get home.”

“I feel too tired!” …… “You know you sleep much better after doing Pilates. See how you feel, you can always keep it gentle and just focus on stretching and mobility instead.”

“I’m too busy” …… “It’s only an hour and actually you know that by taking time out you’ll feel less stressed and will be more productive when you get home or the next day.”

5) Reward yourself

If all else fails then bribery can work!

Promise yourself time after the class to watch your favourite tv show. Treat yourself to a hot chocolate after the class, time out with your favourite book and a hot water bottle…..or whatever else that makes you feel good.