Winter Exercise Advice
The all too familiar feel of wintertime is drawing near. It’s freezing in the morning, dark when you come home from work, and the indoors are too cozy to part with. The motivation you once felt is still salvageable (don’t worry!), and you’ll be thanking yourself that you persevered with your workout regimen come spring. Here are some tips to help you avoid a winter workout hiatus:
SET A GOAL FOR SPRING
Without a goal relating to fitness, it can sometimes feel like exercising is not worth the time spent. You can end this cycle by choosing a spring goal that you want to attain and hold yourself accountable.
Do you enjoy running? Consider registering ahead of time for a spring 5K. By doing this now, you will have set a goal on paper that you must train for and work toward achieving.
Is racing not your thing? No problem! Set a different goal, such as a five-pound weight loss or a reduction in body fat percentage.
Make sure to share your goals with friends and family so that you have people rooting for you and helping you stick to your plan.
FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS
When it’s “too cold to get out of bed” on winter mornings, bright and early at 6 a.m., it’s important to remember the benefits that exercise brings you. Do you feel stress-free after a workout? Are your energy levels higher? Do you feel confident, healthy and fit?
For a daily reminder, get a piece of paper and write down all the ways working out adds to your quality of life. Stick it on the fridge or mirror, along with a photo of yourself, and read it regularly—particularly when you are feeling less than motivated. For an added bonus, add an affirmation, such as, “Everyday I am becoming healthier and more fit.”
FIND A WORKOUT PARTNER
Not only will a workout partner help with accountability, they can also help push you farther in your workout. Find someone who will commit to joining you often and has the same goals in mind. A good workout buddy will make your workouts fun, help you with confidence in trying new things, provide healthy competition and correct your form when needed.
SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUT
Do you have a time that works best for you? Mornings, evenings, particular days of the week?
Sit down with your schedule and pencil in hour-long workouts a few times a week. It is far more likely you'll complete your workout if it's on your agenda and you can hold yourself accountable. So write it down, set a reminder on your phone, and treat it as an important appointment. Schedule your workout in advance and be prepared. Have your gym bag ready to go, a particular workout routine in your head and a playlist to go along with it. Remember, consistency is key!
A little incentive can go a long way. Whether it’s a short-term or a long-term reward, you’re still giving yourself the motivation to achieve results. Try to avoid using unhealthy foods as your reward, but tell yourself if you exercise three times a week for a month, you'll treat yourself to a spa day or those new jeans you’ve had your eye on.
SWITCH THINGS UP
Learning a new exercise-based skill can keep things exciting whether it be yoga, Zumba, Pilates, or boot camp classes. Boredom can be the main factor in motivation loss, so try to go to several different classes and find one that will make you excited to work out. Don’t like the idea of going alone? Bring a friend!