It’s mid-February. The snow won’t stop falling, and there’s no clear end in sight. Without being able to see the pavement how are we expected to exercise? When it’s so cold out, why would I ever trade my pajamas for spandex? Well, there are many tricks up my sleeve to share with you on how to kick off the winter doldrums and get your daily dose of physical activity!
1. Do something you enjoy
When it’s too cold outside, find a fun winter activity to enjoy. Getting a workout in when you’re doing something fun makes it so much easier to get out of bed! Activities such as snowshoeing, skiing, dancing, indoor rock climbing, spinning or yoga will keep your heart pumping and keep you warm during the cold and dark days.
2. Dress the part
It’s easy to feel cold when you aren’t wearing enough layers! Treat yourself to a new pair of compression pants, a neck warmer and new running gloves if you want to feel comfortable doing anything outside. Ever since I began living in New England I have learned to forgo fashion and embrace dressing warmly in the winter. Luckily for me everyone around here loves to run in the winter and cold-weather gear is a must-have in any good Bostonian’s wardrobe.
3. Set the right mood music
Throw together some of your favorite booty-shaking songs to a workout mix so you can keep your groove going. I love to use Spotify, which I can access from any of my devices, and I have a “pump-up mix” that I continually add songs to. Think Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift… yes I shamelessly love pop music when I’m at the gym! Sometimes I will listen to the mix in the car to get me psyched before I get there. It works!
4. Work Out while you work
If going to the gym every day after work is just not possible for you, try to make the most of your day by fitting in fitness wherever you can. At work or at home, take the stairs or a brisk walk around the office, do a few squats wall pushups or wall sits at your desk. Some recent studies have shown that there are some serious consequences to sitting all day, including increasing risk for diseases and mortality.
5. Register for a springtime challenge
That Couch to 5k app will only work if you get off the couch! Find a race in your area that gives you a goal to work towards. There’s no motivation like knowing that you’ve paid for registration at an upcoming event! Looking for a bigger challenge? Check out obstacle races like Tough Mudder or Spartan Race to test your wits!
6. sign up for a fitness class
You may not need a gym membership to take fitness classes. Sometimes your local community center will also offer Zumba or yoga classes at a low rate. With each class you will feel yourself getting stronger, which helps keep you motivated for the next challenging class!
7. or look to the internet for your next workout
You can find anything online! Check out sites like The Daily Burn or Fitness Blender to give you a wide selection of different workouts to do from the comfort of your living room. YogaGlo is my favorite website for online yoga classes, and a monthly membership is the same price of a single class at the studio! On Demand will also have workout videos of the day available to you, so check with your local cable company for availability.
8. grab a friend
Workout buddies are essential ingredients to motivation! If you have a friend waiting for you at your next spin class, or if you are meeting up for a run early in the morning there is less chance that you might decide to bail on your workout. And besides, sweating it out with a friend is always more fun :)
9. make it a date
We rarely forget to put a doctor visit or a business meeting in our calendar. Why should we treat our daily exercise any differently? If you are like many who find it difficult to stick with your plan, put it in your planner! Set time aside as you would with any other appointment and you may be more likely to remember it’s on your agenda. And remember, one hour of exercise is only 4% of your day – changing your way of thinking about this time may help you make space in your calendar for it.
10. set a goal
And then reset your goals… and then reset your goals... Never stop setting new goals! Make sure your exercise goals are specific, measureable, timely and attainable – if you don’t think you can physically achieve something – such as running a half marathon for the first time next month – then find a goal you are able to achieve. Maybe try running a 5k next month, and then a 10k… you get the idea. If you don’t think you’ll actually go to the gym because you hate the treadmill, then pick a more fun activity (see tip #1). And when you’ve accomplished that goal, set a new one to keep you challenged and interested in staying active.
I hope these tips help you find ways to get more movement in your day. Do you practice these already or have any other tips I didn’t mention? Drop me a line in the comments!