As fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner, our days of getting a decent run on the boardwalk or riding our bike along the shore are numbered. The colder it gets, the more we want to just curl up in a blanket with a warm cup of cocoa and the less we want to head outside and find the motivation to exercise. Staying active during the cooler months can be challenging, but with all the holidays ahead, it is important to stay motivated and keep on track. We don’t want to be starting all over again come January 1st, so here are 5 tips to keep you motivated and moving during the winter.
1. Trade This For That
If you had an activity that you enjoyed doing outdoors during the summer months, try to find an indoor alternative or something similar that will hold your interest. For example, if you enjoyed riding you bike outdoors, you can try a stationary bike or even a group cycling class at your local gym as a replacement. Other easy swaps are trading in the boardwalk for the treadmill if you are an avid runner or walker or finding an indoor pool until you can get back in the ocean.
2. Get Creative
Sometimes, it takes a little creativity to keep you active when the snow starts falling. Don’t have a gym membership? Head to the mall and do a couple laps. Or you can stay right where you are and hit up YouTube for a guided workout routine at home.
** A word of caution to those wanting to work out at home. Be honest with yourself. Are you really going to work out at home? For me, I know there is no way I will do it and, even if I did, I would not put the effort in that I would if I were in a class or at the gym. I know my weakness and am honest with myself. I need to be in a gym environment or I’m going to totally slack. If that’s you, be true to yourself and head to the gym. **
3. Try Something New
The colder months are the perfect time to try something new. Find something that intrigues you or you’ve always wanted to try. This will help to keep your interest and challenge your body in new ways. Maybe you take up hot yoga for the winter or maybe try a few group fitness classes you’ve never given a chance. You may be surprised at what you find.
4. The Buddy System
Making a fitness commitment with a friend can help keep you both motivated and accountable. You no longer get to be invisible. Someone is going to know if you didn’t show up to class today. You can encourage each other to show up as well as challenge each other to perform. Plus, it’s always more fun to have a workout buddy by your side!
5. Don’t Forget To Warm Up!
We should always be warming up before exercising, but it becomes especially important as the weather gets colder. Cold muscles equal tight muscles and tight muscles can lead to strains and other injuries if thrown into intense movements too quickly. Take the time to properly stretch and warm up before beginning any workout routine.
Fresh Air Does The Body Good
Don’t give up entirely on your outdoor activities just because it’s chilly outside. Watch the weather and check for a warmer day of the week to get a good run in or just embrace the cold altogether and plan a ski trip! If the outdoors is where you find happiness, don’t get trapped indoors all winter long. You’ll want an indoor alternative for the bulk of your workouts, but don’t give up all your outdoor time if that’s where you belong.