As the mornings and evenings get darker, colder and wetter, the motivation to exercise declines. So how do we stay motivated for winter exercise?
Our bodies may feel like slowing down, we may eat more and move less, spending more time in doors. Whilst all of this is natural in the colder, darker months. It’s still important to move our bodies and maintain a regular exercise routine.
Even I have trouble getting myself out of bed an hour early when it’s bitterly cold and dark outside. It’s so tempting to hit the alarm clock, stay warm in bed and sleep for another hour!
But I need to practice what I preach, and I will never stop repeating the importance of exercise and movement, especially as we become older.
When we make the effort, some exercise will make us feel so much better, both physically and mentally. It also keeps the weight off and is very good for our cardiovascular system and a must if you sit at a desk all day!
Benefits of exercising during the winter months
You may have heard that working out in the cold can burn more calories. This is because your body has to work harder to maintain your body temperature. When this happens, our metabolism increases.
Our muscles can become stiff during the colder months. Movement and exercise will increase blood flow and warm up our bodies, making us more flexible. Before any exercise it’s really important to make sure you warm up properly first.
If you have any kind of arthritic pain, then the winter can aggravate it. Movement, motion and exercise can help prevent this.
Getting yourself outside for those 10,000 steps or a run means you get the benefit of the small amount of sunshine we do have, keeping your vitamin D levels topped up.
If you are sitting at your desk and getting cold, then exercise increases body temperature, which will warm you up, loosen muscle and aid flexibility.
Exercise can help combat the winter blues. When we exercise the feel-good chemicals, endorphins are released, which can reduce anxiety and depression.
Winter exercise motivation tips
Play your favourite song and get dancing
Music is an amazing mood lifter! A fantastic way to get out of bed is by cranking up your favourite tune and start dancing to it.
This can help set the mood for your whole day, making you feel great and motivate you to work out.
Get a gym buddy!
Enlisting a friend, family member or partner to exercise with is fantastic. It means you will have someone to hold you accountable and you can motivate each other. Together, you can create your own exercise plan and schedule.
Exercising together can make the activity more fun and you can support each other. If you have lacked the confidence to start a new class or workout, then doing it with your buddy will make it easier.
Buy some new winter workout gear
Ok, we all know the pitfalls of shopping therapy, but buying some sexy new workout gear will boost your confidence and make you feel beautiful.
It’s winter, so invest in some warm gear for running or exercising outdoors. That way you cannot use the excuse that you don’t have the proper gear.
Work out at lunchtime!
If the mornings and evenings are too dark then get outside in the middle of the day. A walk or run at lunchtime can really help, especially if your work means you are sat at your desk all day.
Book that winter exercise class!
By booking and paying for an exercise class, you are committing yourself. Cancelling or not showing up will mean that you will lose that money.
If you have joined a gym you’ll want to get the most out of your membership. Booking that extra class can give you another push.
An exercise class is a great addition to any fitness program as it can make working out more fun and the instructor will correct your form.
Set a fitness goal
Why not commit to run a mini marathon or try a triathlon or start a new sport? By setting these goals, you will set up a deadline to get into shape for and this will motivate you to train. It’s also good to remember – summer bodies are made in the winter!
I hope this has helped give you some motivation to carry on exercising! I would love to hear about some tips you use to keep going through the winter.
If you require a bespoke nutritional plan to go along with your exercise routine, then you can purchase one of my coaching plans.