Fitness Expert Claire Finlay’s Top Tips for Staying Motivated at the Gym

Keeping up the motivation and energy levels required for a dedicated gym routine can be tough – especially during the cold, dark days of winter. Here, health and fitness expert Claire Finlay of Transition Zone in Fulham shares her top six tips for staying fit and keeping active in winter

1 Take a 360 approach for long-term results – don’t hibernate
Our ethos at Transition Zone centres around train, eat, recover, repeat – it’s a 360 degree approach to fitness taking each of the elements into consideration. As well as classes, we encourage a healthy attitude to diet and nutrition via our Recovery Café, which offers delicious, clean food by pollen + grace to refuel the body and help boost performance. We also offer expert sports massages to prevent injury and speed up recovery times. We’re not about following trends or fads, we promote tried and tested disciplines that get tangible results.

2 Keep your body guessing and your mind interested with a mix of disciplines
At Transition Zone we specialise in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – a technique in which you go all-out, giving 100% effort through quick, intense bursts, followed by short – often active – recovery periods. This allows you to get, and keep, your heart rate up to burn more fat in less time. We offer this training across a dynamic mix of classes: Power Plate, TRX, Reformer Pilates, Boxing and our new HiPer Zone (Heart Rate monitored Circuit class). Mixing up disciplines encourages your body to dig deep and to find new strength and stamina reserves. If you do the same thing, day in day out, you plateau and stop seeing results.

3 Make time for yourself and plan ahead
Don’t leave exercise till the last minute. Treat your fitness schedule as you would your professional or social life. Look at classes as appointments, plan ahead and get them booked in at the beginning of the week. That way you can’t talk yourself out of them or get to the end of the week and discover you don’t have time. And remember a session doesn’t have to take up masses of time. We offer 25 and 30 minute classes, so even the busiest of mums or City workers can find room in their schedules. Exercise isn’t about slogging away for 60 minutes, it’s about making the most of the time you have and doing it regularly. Discipline gets results.

4 Bring your workout inside
It can be exhilarating working out alfresco but as the barometer drops it’s worth thinking about investing in a really good class or studio membership. The last thing you need is to be put off by cold temperatures or inclement weather.

5 Boost your immunity
Stay healthy from the inside out by bolstering up your digestive system. Fermented foods are great for keeping all the delicate gut flora balanced – try adding kefir (a fermented yoghurt) to smoothies or sauerkraut to meals. And fill up on seasonal ingredients – juice them, make smoothies out of them, add to salads or roast. Try beetroots, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, mushrooms and onions. Also load up on superfoods too: Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Maca, Coacoa – these are all great additions to your smoothies too!

6 Keep hydrated to boost skin and aid digestion
People are always banging on about it but it’s important to drink plenty of water, not just to keep everything moving along internally but also for skin health (it’s no coincidence that supermodels are always photographed sipping from water bottles). As the central heating gets switched on try and aim for two litres of filtered water a day, maybe even more if you’re exercising lots. Try adding cucumber, lemon or mint to keep it fresh and interesting. Freshly squeezed juices count as part of your quota, as do herbal teas, but unfortunately wine doesn’t!


Claire Finlay from Transition Zone

Transition Zone, 17 Heathman’s Road, Parsons Green SW6 4TJ;