5 Great Tips to Motivate Yourself to Exercise During Winter

Struggling to Stick to Your Exercise Routine During the Winter?

Women Exercising in Winter Snow

Winter is the hardest time for most people to exercise. The cold weather, short days and slowed metabolisms make finding the energy to work out harder than during any other season. If you’re having trouble staying motivated during the cold winter months, be sure to use the five key tips that I am about to cover. Motivating yourself to exercise during winter and beating your instincts to hibernate isn’t as hard as you may think.

My Top 5 Tips to Help Motivate You to Stay on Track With Your Exercise Routine in Winter

1.)  Use the Holidays to Your Advantage

Everyone knows that the holidays are a great excuse to pig out and chill out. No matter what you do, you will not be able to resist the extra calories that come with holiday parties and meals. You can, however, use the threat of extra pounds to motivate yourself to work out.

Remember how tight your clothes fit on January 1? Remember how motivational that was to hit the gym? Good. Use that feeling of urgency to work out now. Prevent holiday weight gain and feel like you are earning all the holiday trimmings by setting up a special holiday workout schedule and sticking to it.

2.)  Get the Family Involved

Whether you live with your immediate family or with roommates, draft everyone for a series of exercise challenges. Invite your neighbors if you live alone. Fun activities you can do indoors, such as who can jump rope the longest or do the most pushups, lunges or situps or, spark your competitive nature and keep you in shape – all without having to venture into the cold. The winner can get a little prize like picking what to have for dinner or being excluded from that week’s trash duties.

3.)  Treat Yourself to New Workout Gear

Exercise clothing often goes on sale during the winter. Use this as an excuse to buy a new pair of athletic shoes or a snazzy outfit. Showing off new clothes is perfect motivation for making the drive to the gym in winter weather or braving the outdoors for your usual run. If you need an extra nudge, remember that fewer people frequent the gym during winter, which makes it easier for you to stand out and meet people.

4.)  Cover Your Thermostat With “Before” Pictures

Tape “before” pictures from when you were most out of shape to your thermostat so every time you go to turn up the heat you will be motivated to warm up with exercise instead. Sticking “before” pictures to the fridge and the TV can help too. Looking at “before” pictures clearly illustrates where you are headed if you decide to veg out instead of work out. Pictures can be motivational any time of year, but they are particularly helpful when your energy is low and you are looking for any excuse to stay home and drink hot cocoa.

5.)  Your Dryer is Your Best Workout Buddy

Lets face it, one of the main reasons you do not want to work out in the winter is simply because you don’t want to be cold on the walk to your car; You’d rather stay in your toasty warm home in your favorite sweatshirt and sweat pants. Throw that comfy sweatshirt in the dryer for five minutes. Toss in some socks and workout pants too. Once you put on those warm clothes, the cold outside will not seem so intimidating. Just getting your workout clothes on and your butt out to the car is half the battle anyway. Who can resist warm clothes right out of the dryer? No one. Put your clothes in the dryer the night before if you like to work out in the morning so all you have to do is hit the start button and your clothes will be ready to go when you are.

Final Thoughts

Working out during the winter is not just about preventing weight gain. Exercise helps to boost your mood and fight fatigue, things you really need during cold weather months.

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Author Profile: Sarka-Jonae Miller

Author's Website Sarka-Jonae Miller is a personal trainer, massage therapist, and the author of the novel "Between Boyfriends." Sarka writes articles on health, fitness, wellness, travel, weight loss, and more.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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