Have you been struggling to maintain the exercise routine you managed to perfect in the summer months? You’re not alone. Getting yourself to the gym or heading out for a run on chilly, dark mornings and evenings may take a bit more motivation than it did in summer. Try a few tips to boost your winter motivation to help keep yourself active – and perhaps enjoying the season – all winter long.
1. DRESS THE PART
If you’ve researched the benefits of winter workouts, then you know that being outside in the winter can be a good thing for your mind and your body. However, nothing will kill your winter motivation more than being dressed improperly when you head outdoors. Make your training more comfortable and reduce the risk of catching a chill by investing in quality winter activewear. Thermal leggings, gloves, headbands…thermal everything. You’ll also find benefit in moisture wicking, quick-dry pieces, too.
2. BUDDY UP
You’ve heard it before, and we will repeat it once again. Why? Because it literally works. Agreeing to exercise with a friend gives you an incentive to do something active. Finding winter motivation can be tough, but when you use the buddy system you’ll be changing the perspective of working out to something more enjoyable and sociable. Plus, it’s much more difficult to cancel on a friend than to just cancel on yourself.
3. HAVE A PLAN
Too often when the weather gets cold we shelve the idea of working out. Just the thought of wind chills and ice-covered roads can send a shiver down one’s spine and create a sudden urge to stay home where it’s cozy and warm. But if you make yourself a plan and set goals, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated to reach those goals.
4. WARM UP INDOORS
Alright, you’ve got the right gear, made your plan, and found a workout buddy. But the thought of stepping out into the cold is still making you want to turn back to the fuzzy blanket on your sofa. Try this little trick to keep your winter motivation in check: warm up indoors. Do some jumping jacks, pushups, or leg lifts inside before you head out. This will get your heart pumping and your blood circulating, and get you psyched for the workout that is about to come. And if you do those warmups with your winter gear already on, you’ll be in “workout mode” when you run out the door so you won’t even notice the chill.
5. TRY A NEW CLASS
A great way to boost your winter motivation is to sign up for a new class. Besides spicing up your workout regimen, signing up for a new class will also push you outside of your fitness comfort zone and give you the opportunity to meet new people (and maybe even fall in love with the class!). With so many different classes available at Elite, you’ll have plenty of options to try something new. Heck, why not make it part of your plan to try at least one new class a month?!
6. FALL IN LOVE WITH THE SEASON
Yes, winter is cold. And yes, the daylight hours are short. Those two things alone can easily spiral your winter motivation right into a winter workout rut. Instead of focusing on the parts of winter you aren’t fond of, find a part of winter to love. Perhaps you haven’t tried ice skating since you were a child, or you’ve never tried snowshoeing or skiing. If you love hiking the trails in the summer, perhaps you should give it a go in the snow. All of these activities (and more!) will give you a fantastic workout. And, who knows, by giving a winter activity a try you just might find an active part of winter to love.
7. LOOK TO YOUR PETS
If you have a dog, you already know that they are creatures of habit. They know it’s dinner time before you’ve even looked at your watch. They also know morning and bedtime routines. If you’re struggling with your winter motivation, look to your pets to help. If you begin a routine of a daily walk or run with them, it’ll only take a couple times before they will have created a routine in their minds. And once they have that routine, they won’t let you forget about it. They will undoubtedly remind you every day that you took a walk/run at “this” time the day before…and how could you ever say no those big eyes and excitedly wagging tail?
8. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SUNSHINE
If you usually workout indoors throughout the winter, mix things up a bit on sunny days. Getting outdoors to soak up a little vitamin D might just help renew your winter motivation to keep you going throughout the rest of the season.
9. WORKOUT WITH A TRAINER
A personal trainer is a great way to break the monotony of your exercise routine with new, customized workouts for your fitness level and specific goals. If your budget doesn’t allow for regular sessions, try meeting with a trainer monthly for new exercises and routines that will challenge you and keep things interesting.
10. REMEMBER HOW GOOD YOU WILL FEEL
Do you get the winter blues? One of the best ways to battle the blues and weak winter motivation is to remind yourself how good you will feel after you workout. Even something as simple as a short walk in the brisk air every day can enhance your mood and make you feel brighter. So if nothing else in this blog post resonated with you, remember that you can fight the blues and SAD just by adding regular activity to your day throughout the winter. What better motivation could there be than feeling good and energized?