As the winter months approach, it’s absolutely normal to feel your motivation for exercise take a hit, especially when cozy blankets and hot chocolate on the couch are calling your name. But trust us, being able to stay active during Winter season is so worth it. And to help you stay on track, we’ll look into some effective strategies that’ll help you stay motivated and keep those cold weather workouts going strong.
Why working out in winter is a game-changer
Before we get into the motivation tactics, let’s first talk about why working out in winter is such a game-changer.
Winter immunity boost: With the winter chill often comes sniffles and sneezes. Regular exercise can actually help boost your immune system, giving you a better shot at warding off those pesky winter bugs.
Chasing away the winter blues: Shorter days and darker nights can bring on the blues, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for some. But here’s the good news – exercise releases those feel-good endorphins. So, staying active can be your secret weapon against those winter doldrums.
Savor the holiday treats: One of the best things about the holidays is getting to eat or drink all your favorite things. Regular exercise alongside this enjoyment can help you when you feel like you’ve over-indulged.
Soak in Vitamin D: Daylight gives you your natural source of vitamin D, and getting outdoors for your winter workouts can help your body soak up this essential nutrient, which can be in short supply during the darker months.
With these benefits in mind, let’s move on to a few strategies for staying motivated.
1. Set goals that make you proud
Start by setting goals that are personal and meaningful to you. Whether it’s about getting a bit stronger, running a bit farther, training for a local sporting event, or simply staying active a few days a week. Make sure your goals resonate with your own desires and limitations. Research from the American Psychological Association tells us that setting clear goals can be a great motivator – it’s like setting your own finish line to cross.
2. Get a workout buddy
Exercising with a friend or family member can make your winter workouts much more enjoyable. Plus, it’s a win-win; you get to spend quality time together, and you hold each other accountable. You can even do something as simple as grabbing a hot drink and walking around your local park while catching up.
3. Embrace indoor adventures
Let’s face it, winter weather can be a bit unpredictable, and sometimes just plain unfriendly. But don’t fret – there are plenty of indoor workout options to keep you warm and active. Consider trying indoor cycling, yoga, or group fitness classes at a local gym. These indoor activities bring variety to your winter workout routine and offer a cozier refuge from the cold.
4. Treat yourself to winter workout gear
Investing in the right winter workout gear can be a game-changer. Think about it – warm, moisture-wicking clothes, cold-weather running shoes, and comfy layers make braving the cold much more appealing. Plus, investing in some good, high-quality gear can make you feel far more inclined to get out there and try it all out!
5. Make a date with your workout
Setting a consistent workout schedule can be a lifesaver. The National Institute on Aging recommends aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. So, pick times that work for you, and stick to them. Creating a routine helps make exercise a habit, which makes it easier to keep up with.
6. Don’t forget the warm-up and cool-down
In winter, it’s essential to warm up properly to prevent injuries. Cold weather can be tough on your muscles and joints, so spend a few extra minutes preparing your body for exercise. Do some dynamic stretches and light cardio to get your blood flowing. And don’t forget a proper cool-down to help your muscles recover, which will help you avoid long rest periods between workouts.
7. Tech up with fitness apps
Your trusty smartphone can be a handy motivator during winter. There’s an abundance of fitness apps out there that offer guided workouts, help you track your progress, and provide some serious motivation. You might even want to consider investing in a Pivo Pod – a 360-degree smartphone mount powered by AI, that can record your workouts completely hands-free. You won’t even need a friend to help you capture your progress. Pivo is like your personal coach: you can watch back footage, and identify where you could improve between workouts.
8. Reward yourself (you deserve it!)
Positive reinforcement is, of course, a powerful motivator. Create a system of rewards for yourself. For instance, after completing a set number of winter workouts, treat yourself to something you love, like a cozy evening by the fireplace, a shopping trip, or your favorite winter snack. This taps into the psychology of rewards, making your exercise routine even more enjoyable, and worth getting out of a warm bed for.
9. Find your zen with mindfulness
Mind-body connection is a big deal. Engage in mindfulness practices like meditation or deep breathing to clear your mind and reduce stress. On days you really can’t face exercising, just allow yourself the time to to a ‘mind-workout’, if you will. We all need a rest sometimes.
10. Seek guidance from a fitness pro
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a fitness expert. A personal trainer could help you set goals, create a winter workout plan, and provide ongoing support and encouragement. Their expertise can be a life-long secret weapon in your fitness journey.
Naturally, being able to stay active during winter has its challenges, but we hope you can see why they’re really worth tackling. Remember, your health and well-being are worth the effort.
By implementing some of the ideas above, you can conquer those winter workout blues and emerge stronger, happier, and healthier. Happy training!