How to Stay Motivated to Workout in the Winter
When the cold, grey days of winter set in, you might find it difficult to get out the door and over to the gym for your workout. Whether you’re trying to find the motivation to go for a run or hit the gym, you might need a little extra help. The following tips and tricks can help you beat the winter blues and stick to your fitness routine until the warmth and comfort of spring arrives.
1. Buy Appropriate Workout Wear
Warm workout gear plays a huge role to your comfort during an outdoor winter workout. Dealing with high winds? Look for a wind-resistant shell for running and walking. Live in a cold area? Choose a light jacket with built-in insulation, particularly around your core. Whether you’re running or cross-country skiing, it’s always helpful to dress in layers. That way, you can start out feeling comfortable and strip off layers as your body heats up.
2. Go For Color
Bright, colorful clothes can have a positive psychological impact, especially when it’s grey outside. Whether you’re working out inside or outside, reach for your most colorful option. Think a neon pink running jacket, brightly colored sports bras, or wildly printed yoga leggings. You’ll feel more cheerful wearing it, and you’ll bring a smile to the face of everyone you meet. As a bonus, your colorful gear will make you more visible to cars and bikers.
3. Try Something Fun
During winter, your usual exercise routine can sometimes feel boring. If you need a motivational boost, try a new activity. Look for something that sounds fun, rather than worrying about the intensity or calories burned. Drop in to a tap dancing class (a surprisingly tough workout), sign up for hot yoga, or try lap swimming. Need extra courage? Convince a friend to try it with you.
4. Find a Gym With a Sauna
Are you perpetually cold during the winter? If so, trekking across town to the gym might not seem terribly appealing. If that sounds familiar, try to find a gym with a sauna. After your workout, you can sit and soak up the heat before heading out to face the winter again. When it’s seriously cold, the promise of a sauna can be the thing that gets you out the door.
5. Take Advantage of Winter
Tired of the snow and ice? You might feel like staying in until spring, but to stay motivated try embracing the season. Buy a pair of snowshoes and replace your usual walk with a hike through the woods. Take up cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, or snowboarding. Go ice skating with your family. Have kids? Join them for an afternoon of sledding. Winter activities get your heart pounding — plus, when the cold comes with fun new workouts, you’re less likely to dread the snow.
6. Know When to Stay Inside
Powering through your outdoor run or walk can come with a huge surge in endorphins — but sometimes, it’s smarter to stay inside. Check the temperature. Is it below zero? Are there high winds or icy roads? Is it blizzarding? In that case, it’s probably best to move your workout indoors. That way, you can avoid frostbite, and you don’t need to worry about slipping on the ice. Instead, find an equivalent indoor option. Ride a spin bike, run or walk on a treadmill, or enrol in a new intense exercise class. If you’re stuck at home in a blizzard, YouTube has killer strength and cardio workouts to get you moving.
7. Choose the Right Time of Day
There’s less light during the winter — which means that your usual morning and post-work workouts are probably darker and colder. If you’re finding it difficult to get out of bed for a chilly morning run, try mixing up your schedule. Head outside at lunch so you’re exposed to the most light and warmest temperatures of the day. Need to get in a long workout? Do it on a weekend afternoon instead of a weekday after work. You’ll get a burst of vitamin D, and the warmer temperatures can help keep your motivation levels high.
8. Enlist Your Posse
If you’re struggling to stay fit over the winter, chances are some of your friends are in the same boat. Keep everyone motivated by planning frequent group workouts. If you’re running or walking, create a training plan, and then tackle it together. Alternatively, assign one person to plan a different workout. You’ll look forward to the bonding time and you’ll stay in shape along the way. This is especially effective if you’re outside — cold, grey days seem less intimidating when you’re chatting and laughing with friends.
There’s no question — the dreary, cold days of winter can put a serious dent in your workout motivation. By switching up your routine and making small changes, however, you can beat the chill and enter into spring feeling in top shape.
How do you stay motivated to workout in the winter? Leave your top fitness tip for success as a comment below!