Getting out of the house when it is cold out is extra difficult. It’s much easier to stay indoors where it’s warm and comfortable. However, skipping your exercise routine isn’t a good idea. Exercising helps you feel good. It helps you stay healthy. And it helps you live a longer life. Here are my top tips to stay motivated to exercise this winter.
1. Exercise in your home
Okay, so not everyone has the space or the budget to add a home gym. However, you don’t need a lot of space. A fitness ball can help you accomplish a lot. You can purchase a fold-up treadmill, or consider simply purchasing a few fitness DVDs. Then, when it’s absolutely too cold to head outside, you can work out at home. You’ll still accomplish your daily fitness goal and you’ll avoid the cold.
2. Bundle up
With the exception of the dangerously cold days, there’s little risk to exercising outside. All you need is the proper gear. If you’re a runner, then a pair of tights and layers of clothing work best. Don’t forget a hat and gloves – wool works best. And if you cannot run on dry sidewalks, trails or pavement, then consider water-resistant shoes and/or traction devices.
Running or exercising outdoors during the winter months will actually help you feel great. When the sky is cloudy and the air is cool, the exercise will give you those feel-good endorphins.
3. Join a gym
Winter is a great time to join a fitness club. When you join a club you have access to much more fitness equipment and opportunities. That alone can be motivating. You’ll be able to try new things and perhaps meet new people. I also find that the group fitness instructors force me to work out harder than I would do on my own, which is a great benefit to me.
While joining a club can be expensive, many clubs offer special wintertime deals. Find a club that’s close to home or on your normal route so it’s easy to get to. You won’t have any excuses to not exercise.
4. Set a goal
When you set a goal for yourself it’s easier to get and stay motivated. Your goal can be anything you want it to be – whatever motivates you. For example, you could set a weight-loss goal. You could also set an endurance or speed goal depending on your fitness program. If you take yoga, you might set a goal to achieve a complicated pose. If you’re in martial arts, maybe you can achieve a new belt.
5. Be nicer to yourself
If getting out and exercising during the winter is difficult, then reward yourself. When you do get out and exercise, pat yourself on the back with something you enjoy. For example, if you go to the gym or out for a run, celebrate with a massage or a bowl of your favorite soup. Acknowledge your success.
Getting motivated to exercise when you’re in full hibernation mode is difficult. Create a habit of exercise. Accommodate to the changes in the weather. Find alternative means for working out and celebrate your success. You’ll feel better physically, mentally and emotionally when you exercise.
What is your favorite way to exercise in the winter?