It always seems to be much easier to motivate ourselves to exercise when it’s warm outside. We want to be toned and beach-ready, so we’ve got a goal to work towards and going out for a run in the sun or cooling off in the pool is a nice way of spending the afternoon. Then, the cooler months hit. We don’t want to go out in the dark before or after work, we’ve got aches and pains, coughs and cold and frankly, just don’t want to. Many of us gain weight over winter, and while it doesn’t seem to matter as we’re covered up in layers anyway, it can have other adverse effects.
Even a few weeks off exercise can see your fitness levels start to decrease, making it harder to get back to your best when you are ready. On top of this, weight gain can lead to low confidence and self-esteem, trouble sleeping, greasy skin and lifeless hair and higher risks of picking up winter bugs.
So, while it’s fine to change your exercise routine in the colder months when you perhaps don’t want to run 10k in the cold and rain, it’s important that you do maintain some level of activity. Here are some great tips to help you stay motivated this winter.
Address the Aches and Pains
One of the main reasons people put off exercise in the winter is that they ache. It’s perfectly normal to have some aches and pains when it’s cold, especially as you start to get older. But, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.
First, ask yourself if it is just winter aches and not something more serious? Listen to your body, take care of foot pain if you’ve got any, see a dr if you need to and start doing some yoga or Pilates to strengthen your back and core.
One of the best ways to stop making excuses is to do the exercise before you’ve had time to think of any. Exercising first thing in the morning gets it out of the way. Instead of spending the day dreading going to the gym after work, you can feel pleased with your accomplishment.
You might want to make your goals a little smaller over the winter, especially if you are struggling with colds and illness. But, it’s still important to set them. Set yourself small, easy to reach targets that will keep you going and boost your confidence.
Try Something New
An excellent way to motivate yourself in winter is trying new things. If you don’t fancy running or swimming, focus on home workouts or fitness classes. Try some online exercise videos as well as fun group classes like Zumba or spinning. Who knows, you might find something that you love or that you are really good at.
Remember to just keep moving. If you don’t feel like exercise, that’s fine, make sure you go for a walk or do some stretches before bed. As long as you are moving, you are burning calories and keeping fit.