10 Dead-of-Winter Workout Motivators

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10 Dead-of-Winter Workout Motivators

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!

Sleep in Your Workout Clothes

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.

Go Straight to the Gym

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.

Enjoy the Great Indoors

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!

Pump Up the Music

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.

Get in Gear

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.

Exercise During Your Lunch Break

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!

Set Your Sights on Spring and Summer

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.

Take Up a Winter Sport

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.

Join an Indoor Sports League

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.

Make a Fitness Date

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!

Just Get Out the Door

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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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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7/10/2015 12:49:25 PM

49STARBRIGHT's SparkPage
Great ideas


7/10/2015 10:00:36 AM

I have a stationary bike & elliptical machine I plan on using in the colder months!


7/10/2015 9:08:22 AM

My job as an outdoors field staff my work is outside.
The thought of working out outdoors is not appealing at all especially when temps drop well below zero (-30 -40) where I'm located. I'll stick with my indoor workouts.


7/10/2015 8:16:03 AM

NSCARNEY's SparkPage
Very motivating for our friends in the Souhern Hemisphere. :-)


7/10/2015 7:44:07 AM

At first I wondered why there were winter suggestions, and maybe it was an error, but kind of genius! It's a great reminder that it is ready to come up with a seasonal reason to skip exercise! Most of the recommendations translate to any time of year! Thanks for the reminder.


7/10/2015 6:18:07 AM

Why are you running this in July?


2/24/2015 12:23:34 PM

JCRAFT6's SparkPage
I did a workout inside with the music pumping


1/6/2015 4:47:31 PM

HSAGE1212's SparkPage
Bought a treadmill, because minus ten didn't sound fun to run in. My motivators have always been a goal to obtain. No it isn't to look better in a bikini or to loose lots of weight either. My goal now is to run fifty miles in one day. I might not be able to do this, but it gives me a goal to achieve. I was never a runner before, but now I am. My other goal I think about is that I would like to run for a charity like my sister-in-law does to raise money. So this motivates me. The beautiful mountain trail running motivates me also since I like to be outdoors. My other motivator is to beat depression. Not doing anything absolutely does not help me be happy. This motivates me to kick depressions butt witch we all have and I am a fighter. But I have always been a goal person. Even when I use to hike. I would have a goal to reach the top of the mountain. When my kids were little we would walk to there school and walk home this is called purposeful walk. I have also used distractions when hiking extreme places by taking beautiful pictures along my hike. I am also going to take up cross country skiing soon. I was never a gym membership kind of girl.


1/6/2015 2:57:31 PM

HOTTEACHER101's SparkPage
I don't know how women sleep in workout clothes. My sports bra is soooo uncomfortable to sleep in! My best motivator is an accountability partner to keep me on track.


1/6/2015 2:22:20 PM

Great tips!


1/6/2015 2:19:46 PM

Sorry, but I thought this article was a bit simplistic ... JMO


1/6/2015 1:56:32 PM

I've slept in my workout clothes- totally works. I have some running buddies- misery loves company! If you can, book a warm weather vaca for feb/mar. Nothing like the thought of a bathing suit in the dead of winter to motivate you!!


1/6/2015 11:42:29 AM

I hate exercising in front of my family so it's hard to find the right time, hubby is up early and kids are up late.


1/6/2015 6:56:14 AM

GMARIE9999's SparkPage
Now that I live in a true COLD weather state, I think I'll take up ice skating again. OUTSIDE! Used to love it in the rink in California and would love to do it outside on weekends! Maybe I'll pick up an indoor sport as well.


1/6/2015 12:37:50 AM

I love the idea. Of sleeping in my workout clothes

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