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Winter Motivation: Kylie’s story

Published On: 19th December 2016

When autumn begins and the temptation to hibernate kicks in, it’s an extra challenge to stay active. I think this is amplified by the fact I am a wheelchair user and the weather seems to make going out extra difficult when it is wet and cold. But I don't like to let this stop me.

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My motivation comes from several places which keeps my active lifestyle a focus, even when I want to stay in bed.

Firstly, I don't face the challenge alone. I think it’s easy to give up when you are trying to stay active by yourself, but with the support of my partner I find staying active so much easier.

Along with his encouragement I use apps and social media to stay connected with likeminded people where we share workouts, meal ideas and our progress. I have also learnt to not be in denial or refuse myself temptations. By allowing myself foods I like (in moderation) I find I want unhealthy foods less.

Secondly, I have a responsibility that enforces me to stay active – a dog called Huckleberry! It keeps me motivated to get up and out in the mornings, and has supported me to be more social and going for longer walks.

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I then use the difficulties of the weather to challenge myself when walking the dog. Instead of struggling when it's cold I go a more challenging way, which warms me up.

Lastly, I set realistic challenges and goals for myself, whether they are daily, weekly or monthly. And I never focus my goals on weight loss although it is one of the key focuses of my keeping active.

I use the seated cycle and walking in the pool to complete mileage challenges. I have apps on my phone that give progressive challenges for toning exercise like squats. And when I complete my challenges I reward myself with activities or treats that I don't have often.

My main focus and reasons for staying motivated in the autumn and winter is the purpose of my fitness journey – I am doing it to stay healthy, lose weight, tone up and improve my mobility.

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Taking time off when things seem difficult only makes it more difficult for myself in the long run. I have found by staying active every day even if I am only doing half an hour in the gym makes it easier to go. And having reminders and social media on my phone makes it harder to avoid.

I don't allow myself excuses or reasons for not doing things, it is only myself I am making things difficult for and each sore muscle and workout now is a smile in the long run.