Fitness and outdoor activities can seem a lot more tempting in the warmer months when the sun is warming our bodies. I love waking up to the sun pouring through my window and ending the day with a sunset run. How then do we stay motivated in the cold, dark, damp months of the year? Here are a few tips for helping you stay motivated and enjoying your workouts even in some of the dreariest months.
Invest in Proper Gear
This may seem like a no brainer, but how many times have you skipped a hike in the snow, frozen your butt off on a run, or prayed your fingers don’t fall off after attempting a winter activity you were not prepared for?
I know for myself, having the proper gear not only motivates me to get outside with my family and friends, but also creates a more enjoyable experience. I can be a bit of a cheapo when it comes to purchasing winter gear, because in all honesty, I’m praying summer comes sooner than predicted. But what I’ve learned about having the proper shoes, jackets, tights, and layers is that I stop hating the cold so much, and instead start to enjoy the months of snowfall, running in the rain, and attempting new activities I would have previously avoided.
Get Creative Indoors
If the gear idea fails, stay inside! Some days are just meant for indoor activities. Some of my favourite ways to work out at home are through online apps, fitness bloggers on YouTube, Peloton’s training app, and The Sculpt Society on Instagram. These workouts are easy to follow, and you can pick your fitness level and the amount of time you want to spend working out. On my website dailyroutinefitness.com, you can also find a ton of at-home workouts!
Invite a Friend
The colder months can cause us to be hermits at times with a lower desire to get out and be social. Having a consistent day on the calendar you meet up with friends for a workout or even inviting them over to sweat it out to an online program is not only fun but also can help to keep you and your friends motivated and on track with your health and fitness this year.
This can be a challenging tip to live out myself, but one of the most important factors in staying motivated for me has been proper rest. Setting goals with healthy timelines and completion dates has also allowed me to schedule in healthy rest periods when needed. Thinking ahead to spring, when all the layers will get peeled off, at times can breed unhealthy training habits where we push our bodies to the extreme in fear that when the weather changes, we won’t be ready. Give yourself a healthy amount of grace. Write goals that will impact your body in a positive way long-term. Focus on strength and how you feel, not just what the scale says. Make 2020 the year you celebrate the joy in movement, activities with friends, and trying new things!
Rachel Doell is an instructor, personal trainer, mother, and wife who loves health and fitness. Her fitness company, Daily Routine Fitness, features simple ways to fit living a healthy life into your everyday routine.
This article was published in The Good Life magazine.