25 Nov 6 Tips to Stay Motivated for your Winter Workouts
Even the most dedicated exercise enthusiast can have a hard time in winter. Cold days and long nights make it hard to get out of bed, let alone get the body moving, but there are simple ways to get motivated when the weather outside is frightful. The season can indeed be very disruptive to people’s exercise routines. The goal is to remove as many obstacles as possible and make small changes that can make staying active easier until spring returns. At this time of year, exercise can also help to cope with seasonal depression.
Focus on the mental health benefits
Many people who start exercising get frustrated when they don’t lose weight or feel fit right away. But those benefits take a while to show up. The mental health benefits, on the other hand, happen almost immediately. People feel better, less stressed and more relaxed, which may be especially important during the hectic holiday season and a time when many suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Feel good about feeling good, and feel good about doing something for yourself that we know has so many benefits that so many people need.
Seek out an exercise buddy or group
When exercising alone, there is only one person you have to convince to skip a session. But by exercising with a partner or group, there’s some social pressure. I have to show up because they’re there, waiting for me. Exercise partners can also provide social support, camaraderie, and distraction from bad weather. There’s the additional benefit of making friends and hanging out with like-minded people, he added. Even if you’re exercising at home, consider joining a live class on Zoom or on Instagram — which are great winter workout options that don’t require you to brave the cold, pandemic, or not.
Dress up for a workout
You would be surprised at the powerful effect that putting on exercise clothes when coming home from work can have. This simple goal puts people on the right path without much effort. The idea behind doing that is you’ve met your goal and it’s probably difficult to take those exercise clothes off without actually doing some form of exercise. You can also sleep in exercise clothes if it helps you get in a better mindset for an early workout. This is a more intense variation of the goal above. The advantage is being ready to go right out of bed in clothes that are warm and already in place. On the other hand, the ritual of getting into exercise clothes can be energizing. Once you start gearing up, you’re getting your head in the game. It’s like a pre-game ritual. It’s almost like your heart starts beating faster once you begin to do that.
Make it a goal just to get to the gym
Just focus on getting dressed and showing up at the health club or in your living room in front of your laptop, nothing else. Then, it’s OK to do an abbreviated workout or leave after a few minutes. (Most people don’t.) Once you’re there, the problem is solved. You’re kind of committed to it. Once you’ve changed into your gear, once you’ve made the initial step, the rest of it is a lot easier.
Exercise during your lunch break
Many people get frustrated when it’s dark in the morning and dark when they come home from work. The solution is to work out in the middle of the day, during the peak light hours. If the weather is tolerable, take a long, brisk walk during lunch hour — this provides the added benefit of fresh air and a bit of nature. If there’s too much snow in the way, head to a nearby mall or shopping center for an indoor stroll.
Plan ahead and anticipate
For outdoor workouts, watch the weather forecast and know what you’ll be up against the next day, whether snow or a cold blast. Plan the appropriate clothing by stocking up on some workout clothes for winter and have everything ready when for wake up time: gear, gym bag and snack. It’s like you’re being helped along, so to speak. That can make a big difference. If you know what you’re going to have to experience or endure, it doesn’t bother you as much.
If you find yourself among those who have been overindulging during this festive season, and then feel guilty they feel guilty. Remember that even setbacks can’t deter you from actively pursuing your fitness goals. Whenever you’re ready, set some goals and it will be of great help to situate yourself in an environment that’s conducive to your health and wellbeing. It’s better to start with baby steps and start somewhere warm.