Written by Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainer
Lower temperatures and darker days can wreak havoc on your workout motivation--if you let them. Stay on track all season long with these cold-weather motivators that really work!
If you're a morning exerciser, it's usually cold outside (and inside your house!) when you wake up. The thought of getting out of bed and stripping out of your PJs to change into your workout clothes isn't exactly appealing. Save the step and prevent the chill by going to bed in your workout attire. You'll be dressed for your workout and toasty warm, making it easier to start your workout.
If you're an evening exerciser, bring your gym bag to work and head straight to the gym instead of going home or running any errands beforehand. Errands can always taken longer than expected, making you late for Spinning class, just as going home can diminish your motivation to leave the comforts of your couch.
If exercising outside in the cold and slush just isn't your thing, don't force it. Whether you pop in a new workout DVD, invest in some small fitness equipment or even just use your body weight, exercising at home can be a convenient way to stay on track. And the best part about working out from your own home? No winter commute!
Nothing motivates like music. Create a new playlist of upbeat workout songs and include your favorite motivational songs. When your winter workouts aren't calling your name, put on your playlist to find your inspiration and energy to get going, and then keep listening to boost your energy until it's time to cool down.
When you layer properly for winter activities, cold, rain, sleet and even snow are never an issue. There truly is workout attire for every weather scenario. And when you invest in your health and fitness by buying some new duds, you'll not only benefit from instant motivation to try it all out, but the "it's too cold" exercise excuse will be a thing of the past.
High temperatures and maximum sunshine usually occur midday, so use your lunch break to squeeze in a walk or other office-friendly exercise. Plus, when you use your lunch break to work out, you won't have time to be tempted by fast food or other high-calorie restaurant fare; simply pack a healthful lunch to bring with you. It's a win-win!
Train for a spring 5K or a summer half marathon. By signing up for a race that requires you to stay fit and active all winter long, you won't be able to skip your training workouts and still reach your goal. Each time that early morning alarm rings or your Saturday afternoon training group meets, you'll be there because you'll want to reach your big goal. If races aren't your thing, set a specific weight loss goal or set your sights on a special trip (swimsuits, anyone?) that you'll want to look and feel your best for.
If you're a competitive type, why not try a new winter sport? From skiing to snowshoeing, there are many great options that burn mega calories and put a whole new twist on your cold-weather workout plans.
It's always warm indoors! Whether you want to try your foot at soccer or relive your former basketball glory, there is a local adult sports league for all sports, ability levels, ages and genders. Plus, practicing and playing a sport is a great way to change up your workout routine so you keep getting results and staying interested.
Lacking motivation to run outside? Enlist the help of a friend. When you set up an appointment with someone else, you're much less likely to find excuses or show up late. Call a friend and set up a regular workout date at home (try a DVD together), at the park for a jog, or at the gym for that boot camp class you've wanted to try. Fitness buddies unite!
It's the initial shock of the cold that we think of as unbearable in the winter, but when you get past the doorway, you've won half the battle. Once outside, you have no choice but to get moving to build up body heat. When you're not feeling motivated to work out, fake it. Get dressed, put on your shoes, and get outside. Nine times out of ten, you'll just keep right on going!
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