As a runner who thinks treadmills are where happiness goes to die, it can be really hard to find motivation to exercise when it’s just too cold outside. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options to keep up motivation and fitness levels in the winter. You don’t even have to get a workout in every day to stay healthy or stay active. Here are 13 suggestions to power through the cold months.
1. Roll out your yoga mat indoors
Pilates, yoga, calisthenics, and plenty of other workout styles can be done with no extra equipment – just you and your mat (or towel or even just the floor). Use your favorite YouTuber to keep you motivated. My favorites are Blogilates (POP Pilates) by Cassey Ho and Yoga with Adriene.
2. Meet a friend at the gym
Have an accountability buddy and keep each other motivated. Go to the gym, go for a run, or invite your friend over for a workout and brunch. (Just make sure you actually do the workout before brunching.)
3. Stand at your desk
As the days get shorter, we get less daylight outside of working hours. You might even get to work before the sun comes up and by the time you leave in the afternoon, it’s dark again. Try standing at your desk instead of sitting all day to keep your muscles activated and avoid feeling sluggish.
4. Exercise in small increments throughout the day
Every hour take a 5 minute break to do a few squats, pushups, or hold a plank. Spreading your workout into manageable amounts of time can help you get it done.
5. Buy new workout clothes
Sometimes picking up a new pair of tights or a perfectly fitting sports bra can give you a little edge to get your workout started. Feeling stylish and sporty can give you the confidence and motivation to get going.
6. Join a class
If you like having accountability outside yourself, find a class at your local gym or studio to join. Popular options are yoga, barre, kickboxing, pilates, and Zumba. Try a different style every week until you find your favorite!
7. Mix it up
Try different styles of exercise to keep from getting bored. Maybe alternate which classes you go to or find different YouTube videos to change it up.
Low energy and low impact, anyone can meditate. Even if all you’ve got is 5 minutes, set aside some quiet time for yourself to calm your mind. Meditation helps you lower stress levels, ground your emotions, and process your day. Free apps like Calm or Headspace can guide you through a meditation practice if you’re new to the idea.
9. Focus on food
I personally believe that when it comes to fitness, food is 80%, exercise is 10%, and mental health is 10%. Keep your diet clean this season so when the sun comes back out, you’ll be ready to get back to your regular grind and won’t have to deal with falling behind.
10. Join a running club
If you’re a runner or interested in running, most cities have a running club you can exercise with. This provides accountability, structure, and support for when motivation is low. Running clubs have participants at all fitness levels, so no matter where you’re at, you’ll have a friend to go the distance with.
11. Strict scheduling
Schedule your workouts like you would a class, meeting, or other important part of your day. This forces you to stick to your plan. And if someone wants to add something to your calendar for the day, you can more easily excuse yourself due to other commitments (your workout) if the time conflicts with your workout.
12. Reduce stress
Reducing your stress level will go a long way into fitness maintenance. Yoga, mediation, scheduled down time, diet, and even therapy can go a long way to lowering your stress level. High stress levels inhibit your best performance in every aspect of your life, be it creativity, organization, fitness, work, or interpersonal relationships. Take some quiet time to relax every day and let go of what you can’t control.
13. Bundle up and push through the cold
Some days, no matter how unmotivated you feel, you just have to push through. Remember, the only workout you will regret is the one your didn’t do. If you like to take your workout to the great outdoors, be it hiking, biking, or running, layer up and go!
Drop a comment below and share your favorite winter workout or way to stay active when it’s cold.