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Stay Motivated to Workout this Winter

There’s no question that being active – both mentally and physically – is important year-round, but in the wintertime, it’s even more critical. It’s hard to stay motivated to workout this time of year! With the weather getting colder and the days so short there’s no question that most of us would be more than willing to trade in our treadmill for an extra hour of sleep.

Let me drop a bit of wisdom on you. Summer bodies are made in the winter and healthy bodies are made through consistency. The winter months are actually the perfect time to start working towards your fitness goals, even though the dark mornings and cold weather may say otherwise!

It’s definitely possible to keep up your momentum all year round. You just need to have a plan, stay focused and most importantly you have to keep moving! Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Take It Outside

Winter may not be your favorite season, but instead of resisting the cold, try embracing it. With the right clothing, spending time outdoors can be really enjoyable during the winter months.

Downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as snowshoeing and ice skating are great activities to keep you active throughout the winter months.

Invest In Indoor Exercise Equipment

Not everyone likes being outside when it’s cold. It’s safe to say I’m one of them. If being outside really isn’t your thing, then investing in some indoor exercise equipment may be the perfect solution for you.

Standard equipment like treadmills, elliptical machines, and recumbent bikes are good investments because they tend to last for years.

Exercise equipment like hand weights, kettlebells and resistance bands are inexpensive and let you design your own at-home workouts. With the internet at our fingertips, you can find endless workout videos and programs that are designed to help you workout from home.

Get a Gym or Pool Membership

Even if you’re not a regular, joining a gym for the winter months is a great excuse to get yourself out of the house. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other gym patrons with similar fitness goals and you will have a safe place to exercise until the weather improves.

Most gyms include access to a pool as part of your membership fee. If you don’t like exercising alone, try an aqua class. There are several fitness facilities in the area that offer a variety of classes at various times.

Socializing in the winter tends to happen less for many of us, so having a standing date to attend a fitness class is a great way to burn calories and catch up with friends.

Work Out Your Goals

What motivated you to get started? Revisit your fitness goals or take the time to create new ones. Do you want to lose those last five pounds, build muscle or just tone up? Whatever your ultimate goal is, committing to what you want to achieve will allow you to track your progress and set smaller goals along the way.

Spice It Up

Switching things up every so often with your fitness regime doesn’t just keep things interesting, it also helps your body burn fat more efficiently.

Spice things up by trying a new group fitness class or by working out with a friend. Make sure you choose an exercise routine that uses a variety of exercise methods, and more importantly make sure it’s fun. If you aren’t dreading going to the gym, you’ll be more likely to show up.

Make Time

Don’t use your busy lifestyle as an excuse to set exercise aside. You and your health need to be a priority. Stay physically active throughout the day by parking farther away from your destination, meeting a friend at the gym, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a walk with a co-worker on your lunch break.

If you are more productive at night, schedule your workouts in then. Getting on the treadmill or bicycle for twenty minutes is better than doing nothing at all.

Managing Stress

When it comes to managing stress, staying mentally healthy is just as important as staying physically fit. Slowing down throughout your day and taking a couple of minutes to breathe will pay off in the short and long-term.

Stress can also be a result of a lack of self-control and time management. Make “to do” lists for tasks such as meal planning and grocery shopping, but also accept the fact that there will be days that you won’t be able to do it all. Just do your best.

Control Cravings

Meal prepping at the beginning of the week will help control cravings and the urge to splurge. Try to eat meals around the same time every day. When you have scheduled mealtimes throughout the day, you will be less likely to veer off track at work, school and in the break room.

Stock Up on Fruits and Vegetables

Most of us crave comfort foods this time of year. A big plate of cheesy nachos sounds good right about now!

Clean eating is a really big part of making a healthy lifestyle change, especially in the winter months. If you can consistently make good food choices all year round it will make it a lot easier to reach and maintain your fitness goals.

The next time you visit the grocery store, stock up on a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and also low in calories.

In Conclusion:

At the end of the day, fitness is so much more than getting that perfect six-pack and a rock-hard butt, it’s about the quality of your life. If you want to be successful for the long-term, you have to transform more than your body; you have to change your mindset and develop a healthy lifestyle that is realistic, achievable and sustainable.

Stop wasting time and get started today! Before you know it, you will be on your way to achieving a fit and healthy lifestyle that you can maintain all year round. Good luck to you!

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.