How to Stick to Your Fitness Goals During the Cold Winter Months

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The shortage of daylight and cold weather make winter

wellness even more difficult.  Despite our best made

New Year's Resolutions, it is tough to stick with an

exercise program in the middle of winter.

 

The strong urge to stay in a nice warm bed can win

over your best made plans.  In fact, one of the hardest

parts of winter exercise is just putting on your shoes

and stepping out of the house.

 

So, how can we remain focused and motivated to stay

on track with our fitness journey through the cold

winter months?

 

Here are 8 ways (plus a bonus) to ensure your

fitness goals stick this winter:

 

 1. Define your goal.

 

First of all you need a goal to be working toward.

Exercise for the sake of exercise is usually not

motivating enough to get you out of bed on a cold

morning.

 

Set a goal that is both exciting and  motivating.  Write

it down and remember why you want to achieve this

goal.

 

 

 2. Realize the added benefits

 

It can be motivating to remember that there are

added benefits to winter exercise.  For example,

running in the cold actually burns more calories.

 

Or, you get a better cardiovascular workout in a

shorter amount of time because your heart is

pumping harder in the cold temperatures.

 

And, you are less likely to overheat or reach

exhaustion too soon. So, head outside and enjoy the

added benefits of a cold winter workout.

 

 3. Make Yourself happier

 

With shorter days, the levels of feel-good chemicals in

your brain fall.  Exercise helps release powerful

hormones that help combat winter 'blahs'.  The

promise of a more positive mood state can encourage

you to get moving.

 

 4. Warm up to Prevent Injury

 

You won't be motivated to exercise if you hurt.  Make

sure your muscles are properly stretched and warmed

up before any activity. Dynamic stretches, such as leg

swings, marching, or an easy jog will help with muscle

stiffness in chilly weather.

 

 5. Have a plan B

 

If you don't feel like going outside, or it is dangerously

cold, it’s ok to give yourself another option.  Make sure

you know what that plan will be before hand though,

so it isn't easier just to opt out. This could include doing

a workout at home instead of the gym or taking your

run to the treadmill.

 

6. Try something new

 

If you find yourself staring at the treadmill with dread,

that's a sign you need to try something new. Mix things

up with a new group fitness class like spinning, yoga or

kickboxing.

 

If you're a home exerciser, try different video or find

something to stream online.  You can even turn on

your favorite play list and make up your own workout -

jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push ups, etc.

 

 7. Commit to just a short time

 

If you just can't get motivated to tackle the hour long

work out you planned, commit to just a short time.  It's

easier to get motivated if you are only committing to

10 minutes.

 

If after that time you still aren't feeling it, you can give

yourself permission to call it a day.  Most likely though

you will be warmed up and energized to complete what

you started.

 

 8. Take advantage of every warm or sunny day

 

Every chance you get to be outside on a warmer than

usual winter day, take advantage of it.  Even if it's just

a short walk at lunch or playing outside with your kids

after school.  The vitamin D will improve your energy,

release your 'happy' hormones, and pull you out of

that winter slump.

 

Bonus Tip: Get some Help

 

Finally, if you just can't make yourself do it, find some

help.  Hire a personal trainer or wellness coach for

accountability.

 

If aches and pains of winter are affecting your

motivation to work toward your fitness goals find a

physical therapist. They will help cut down

inflammation, pain, stiffness and fatigue.

 

With a myriad of benefits, we will guide you to get back

on track, back to your life and improve your state of

mind.  Request to speak with a physical therapist,

personal trainer, or wellness coach on our website.

Or just click HERE.