The weather outside might be frightful, but that doesn’t mean that winter workouts can’t be delightful! The cold, dark days can make it tempting to skip a workout in favor of curling up on the sofa with a warm blanket and a good book. While there’s nothing wrong with cozying-it up once in a while, making a habit of it will spiral you right into a winter workout rut that will be a challenge to dig yourself out of. Save the digging for the snow, and give these seven tips a try to avoid a winter workout rut.
Embrace the Chilliness
One sure-fire way to avoid a winter workout rut is simply to embrace the cold weather. Believe it or not, getting outside will be invigorating and will mix things up a bit for you. Being cooped up inside all the time can be a downer. Getting outdoors will lift your spirits and spice up your routine a bit.
Make it Quick
It may sound too good to be true, but by exercising outdoors in the winter, you may be burning more calories. Since your body has to work harder to regulate body temperature in cold weather, you might not have to work out as long to achieve the same results. Kick your winter workout rut in the butt by remembering that if you head outside for your workout, you can burn off those comfort food calories in less time.
Get a Workout Sidekick
Superheroes have them, why shouldn’t you? Having a training sidekick is a great way to increase accountability. By making a commitment to train with someone, you’ll be more apt to keep to a schedule and you’ll likely push each other to reach and/or exceed your goals.
Try Something Entirely New
Change is hard, we get that. This winter, instead of letting your workouts slip into stagnation, avoid a winter workout rut by trying something new. Whether it’s kettlebell training, hot yoga, dance cardio, barre, or whatever, just get some good instruction and turn winter into a refreshing learning experience.
Find Winter Activities You Enjoy
Since we’re on the topic of trying new things, why not give a few winter activities a go this winter? You’ll likely evade the dreaded winter workout rut, and have fun while you’re doing it! There are plenty of outdoor winter activities that will get your heart rate up: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, snowshoeing, and sledding to name a few. Incorporating outdoor fun will break up all of those treadmill or elliptical sessions AND, most of them can be enjoyed with the family.
Join a League
Before you slip into a winter workout rut, think about joining a sports league this season. Whether you’re a former college athlete or a relative newcomer, there’s something for everyone. And by joining one of these leagues, not only will you get a great workout, you’ll expand your social network at the same time.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of goal setting. This time of year is a great time to revisit your workout goals and set new ones for the new season. Start with short-term goals for every week — how many miles you want to run, the number of workouts you want to complete this winter, etc. You can then figure out how your small goals will play into big picture goals further down the road. Focusing on how you do with your goals this winter will help you come springtime. Make sure the goals you set are realistic so you can adapt your life accordingly. And always be sure to remind yourself that you are setting goals so you can make your health and your well-being a priority.