In the 12 Steps How to Stick to a Healthy Eating plan I talk about testing the reasons you think you might fail and planning ahead to succeed.
I thought about these while climbing the Kogelberg this morning. It was a beautifully clear day but with a frosty blast following yesterday’s snow. Because I had planned ahead and, over time, purchased gear that would allow me to be comfortable outdoors irrespective of the weather, I couldn’t give myself the excuse of not going out in the cold or even in the pelting rain.
It seems hard to believe that I would ever say something like this but I have found it true. It is better to climb the mountain in the rain and wind than to spend the time in the gym, or worse, not be active.
My body has become so used to the feeling of exerting itself that on days when I don’t, I don’t really feel like I’ve woken up properly.
I’m a fan of gear from Columbia Sportswear as theirs were the only jackets that managed to keep me warm when I first shed weight. Now, although I also have thermal undies from Woolies, I still prefer my Columbia base-layers as the mirror-ball fabric reflects my body heat and keeps me more comfortable than regular thermal.
I’m not telling you to buy Columbia but I am telling you to get waterproof boots and a jacket that you can zip right up to your neck along with gloves and a hat that will cover your ears.
Because the shirt and pants I wear are made for hard-wearing excursions and I get sweaty while in them, they’re washed every second day, at least. I mention this as you want to have no-iron gear you can wash and wear without it falling apart. The thing about technical fabrics is much more than just a marketing ploy. I know this as in Plett I did the Robberg hike wearing a beautiful, organic cotton t-shirt which after about 30 minutes was chafing me as it was drenched in sweat. I would have enjoyed that hike a whole lot more wearing a moisture-wicking garment.
You also need to find gear that allows you to vent as you get warmer. My jacket has velcro cuffs to adjust how much air I allow in or out. Something with a full zip is also better than a pullover. If you can find a jacket with zipped back vents I’d recommend that, too.
Finally, look out for a jacket that has deep pockets as an hour into your climb you will be too warm to wear your scarf and gloves and will need somewhere to stow them.
Don’t give yourself the opportunity to find reasons why you can’t get out and exercise.