The winter weather can seem like a great excuse to curl up on your couch and push your fitness routine out the window. However, winter is an important season to keep up with your active lifestyle. The winter months can make it easier to gain a few pounds and can set you back for the rest of the year.
It is only natural that we feel less motivated in winter because of the dark, wet, and cold days. However, if you change your mindset and learn to love Winter and what it can do for your workouts - you will not find them such a chore! The excuses you make to yourself over the next few months may range from, "It's too cold to work out!" to “I’m too busy” Yes, it can be tough to get motivated when it’s windy and raining, but do not give up all thoughts of staying active – indoors or out. A little planning will help you get through the winter months ahead.
Here are some ideas:
If possible, it is best to be active outdoors while it is still light out. Not every day of winter is miserable. On those mild sunnier days try to get outside and soak up some sun and get fresh air. Outdoor exercise can increase your energy levels and decrease frustration, tension, and depression.
Most people shy away from outdoor exercise in winter because of the weather, but if you have the proper attire and its not pouring down with rain you will be okay.
Find a fun activity
Explore new outdoor activities, this could be as simple as trying an exercise class, indoor swimming or depending where you live you could try ice skating or skiing. You could get your family involved and make it a day trip, or something more regular for yourself and join a sports team.
Winter sports can be fun, you get to do stuff you would not normally be able to in the summertime heat. Not only are sports a great way to burn calories, they are also good for meeting new people and being social.
Another example could be if you plan a coffee date with your friends, get your drinks to-go, that way instead of sitting inside the café, you can rug up and enjoy a fast paced stroll and a chat.
It is just as important to stay hydrated when active in winter as it is in summer, even though you might not feel as thirsty.
Keep up with your normal daily routine. A way to help is get all your gym bag essentials (clothes and equipment) packed and ready to go. For example, you can leave in in your car for if you train after work and you will be less likely to use the excuse “I have to head home first”, we all know once we get into that warm room that we aren’t going anywhere.
Another way to be prepared is with your workouts themselves. Plan you week so you know exactly what you are doing on what day. You can also focus more on the intensity of your workouts rather than the duration.
Create a home gym
You can easily set up a great workout area in your own home, all you need is some sort of equipment such as a yoga mat, exercise bands, stability ball or some hand weights and you are on your way to a great workout. There are plenty of videos and home workout programs that you can follow if you are not sure what you should do. Another bonus to exercise at home, if you are someone who really does not enjoy the cold weather, you can stay inside your warm house.
Spoil yourself and get yourself some bright coloured active wear! Just because winter is cold and dreary does not mean your wardrobe needs to be. In winter it makes a massive difference to have a bright, happy workout wardrobe as it can help boost your mood and adds extra incentive to go out and be active. Check out Activeezy for new active wear.
It can be tempting to wrap ourselves up in a cocoon and stay in bed all winter, but being social and active will boost your mood. Exercise is too good for your body to pass up, think of winter as a time to get more creative with your exercise routine. So, if you change your mindset and learn to love winter and what it can do for your workouts, you will not find them such a chore!
Daina Hutchins, Qualified Personal Trainer
Daina has been in the fitness industry since 2016 and is the co-owner of Down Under Barbell (www.downunderbarbell.com). A weight trainer herself, she enjoys training others in high-intensity groups. Currently pursuing diploma in weight management, she is a qualified strength coach, boxing (for fitness) coach and pre- and post-natal fitness.
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