The winter season gives plenty of excuses not to workout, but it's important to keep your fitness levels up throughout the chilly season. From setting up your goals to adding some fun quotient to your exercise regime can make the task easy.
Training throughout the year is important but when it's cold and dark outside it can be much harder to get motivated.
"Winter training in the off season is important for me and many other athletes because it gives us more time to work on building a strong foundation and also the chance to change any technical aspects of my game. I wouldn't be able to do either of these during the season as I'm generally maintaining fitness levels, motivation and trying to stay injury free," femalefirst.co.uk quoted tennis player Belinda Bencic as saying.
She doles out a few tips on how one can motivate oneself to stay fit in winter.
Set yourself goals: You need a plan for exactly where you want to go and what you want to improve. For example, last season I wanted to improve my serve. I wanted more power so I could better make the transition from the Junior's tennis circuit to the Pros. I changed my grip slightly and hit hundreds of serves every day. It definitely helped me to have a strong season in 2014.
Warm up and cool down properly: This is so important in the colder months. Even athletes can get a bit lazy with warming up but it's what gets your muscles loose and your body ready for a tough work out. I like dynamic stretching to warm up- holding each stretch for at least 6 seconds and then release and stretch again. Cooling down is just as important, I spend 10 minutes doing a light jog and then cycle for 15 minutes on the stationary bike
Muscle building: I work on building muscle strength during the off season. My tip for this would be to choose the time of day that suits you best. For example, I never do heavy weight lifting in the morning if I am playing tennis in the afternoon. I always start with tennis and then keep lifting for the afternoon. Otherwise, my body becomes stiff from lifting weights and I am more likely to get an injury playing tennis.
Have fun: Most importantly, try and make the training sessions fun. I do them with a hitting partner, which is usually my father or my brother. Yes, you have to be a serious professional but you also have to enjoy what you do. Lifting weights by yourself is boring so I like to do things with my team.