Sticking to a regular exercise plan is difficult, even during warm weather. In the winter, though, it can be downright brutal. As if working out weren’t exhausting in its own right, poor weather, slick roads and less daylight make many of us want to hibernate – or at least relax on the couch.
Motivation to exercise is hard to come by in the winter, but with a little determination, you can develop strategies to remain active and inspired throughout the bleakest part of the year. Here are some tips and tricks you might want to consider when trying to get in gear:
Some workouts don’t require you to leave the house at all, so if you want to do Pilates but don’t want to brave the cold, buy a Pilates workout DVD and get a similar workout in your living room. If you’re accustomed to running outdoors, consider investing in a treadmill that you can use when the weather doesn’t cooperate, or run up and down the stairs of your office building.
Create a cozy space for your home workouts by using a large rug for stretching, yoga and body-weight exercises. And remember – even though it’s cold outside, you still need to drink water and stay hydrated when working out. Enjoy water from your refrigerator water filter during workouts, and add a slice of fruit to make it more appealing.
If you function well with the proverbial carrot floating out in front of you, offer yourself some rewards for being active. Choose something other than food as your reward – you don’t want to undo all your progress! When you achieve a workout goal, you could buy yourself a new pair of shoes, a new CD or get a massage. Be creative in finding ways to inspire yourself through the winter.
Sometimes, having a workout buddy can really help you stay on-track with your exercise plan, because if you don’t show up to the gym, your friend is likely to give you grief about your missed workout. You could also try group activities – many gyms offer group fitness classes, the variety of which can be a welcome break from your usual routine.
With winter workouts so much different than what you experience at other points during the year, it seems appropriate to give yourself a different soundtrack for these months. A new playlist can be invigorating and exciting, keeping your mind off of your winter doldrums while giving your workouts a good shot of adrenaline. If you listen to music while running outside, keep the volume low so you can hear cars and other sounds.
However you decide to tackle the winter doldrums, the most important thing is that you continue to find ways to keep yourself active. Spending the winter sitting around the house only serves to erase all the fitness progress you’ve made over the past year. Stay busy and look forward to being in good shape when warmer weather returns.
About the Author:
Cameron is an avid fitness blogger who likes to think of new ways to keeps his workouts interesting and engaging.