Winter Workout Motivation

Above: Tips for how to stay motivated through the winter months
Above: Tips for how to stay motivated through the winter months

Don’t let the cold weather derail you from keeping fit. After all, you don’t want spring to arrive and you’ll have turned into a flabby weakling, do you? Sure, the freezing temperatures can be daunting, but there’s ways to get around it when it comes to working out. So ditch those hibernation plans, and get ready to sweat.

Switch to indoor workouts

Your usual sport of choice may be softball, but for the winter months, try something new. You may discover a new favourite activity and you’ll likely work out different muscles than you typically do. Swim at the community centre, try hot yoga, join a gym for the winter months, or simply work out at home. Search for fitness apps for workouts, or buy a set of DVDs such as P90X or Insanity.

Invest in winter fitness gear

With the right gear, you can keep warm and learn to love exercising outdoors in the winter. Dress in layers, in fitness clothing that’s made of technical fabrics and with deflect wind. A balaclava and warm gloves are essential (you may even want some of those warming packets to keep in your pockets), and since you may be working out early in the morning or at night, ensure that your gear features reflective elements so that drivers can see you.

Use tools that’ll motivate you

You may have no problem getting up and active when the weather’s nice out, but find it tougher when it’s dark and cold out and binge-watching Game of Thrones on the couch with a beer in hand is much more enticing. This is when a fitness tracking tool such as Fitbit or the Nike Fuelband might be particularly helpful. Looking at your daily numbers on whatever gadget you choose may just push (or guilt!) you into getting off that couch.

Set a goal for the spring

Whether it’s bench pressing a certain weight, running a race in May or getting to a certain weight yourself, setting a specific measurable goal for the spring may be the push you need to continue to exercise regularly through these winter months. You’ll be aware that there’s no way you’ll reach that goal unless you train regularly and your goal will force you to make a plan that’ll have you progressing each week until your spring goal date.

Find a workout partner

You might normally prefer to exercise solo, but having a buddy to train with in these rough winter months can help keep you accountable. Picture those times when you’ve had a rough day at work and you’ve headed home rather than hitting the gym, even though you’ve got your gym bag all ready to go in your car. When you’ve got your buddy expecting you at the gym, it becomes much harder to skip that workout. You’ll feel sheepish for bailing, plus if you’re the competitive type, it’ll just kill you to know they’ve gotten their workout done and you haven’t.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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