Winter is here to stay and with it comes colder weather and often shorter and darker days. But don’t let the bitter cold keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Here are some tips that will help you stay fit and focused whether you’re outside or even stuck indoors.
At the gym
Escape the wintery conditions by finally putting that gym membership to use. Take a class so you know you’re getting the most out of a workout and have fun doing it. Try something you’ve never done before like pilates, yoga, boxing, karate, water aerobics or even dance. If you’re really struggling to push yourself, consider getting a trainer. According to Men’s Fitness, “Making the commitment to train with someone, whether it’s a friend or personal trainer, often forces a different, increased level of effort in your training.” A workout buddy will hold you accountable and reduce the chance of you putting it off for another day.
Use the wintery conditions as an opportunity to build up your own home gym. Make sure you create a workout space that is private, has plenty of room, as well as an atmosphere you enjoy. If possible, give yourself a view so you can still see the great outdoors. Stock up on multi-purpose equipment such as jump rope, free weights, kettlebell, medicine ball. and yoga mat. If you’re having trouble coming up with your own workouts, try following along to an exercise video.
If you just can’t cut it indoors, head outside and get moving. Go skiing snowboarding, ice skating, shovel snow or have a snowball fight. Just be careful to layer up and hydrate. Wear clothing that will keep you dry and visible in bright colors. Stay vigilant and watch for ice. You’ll be safer if you skip the hills and wear shoes with proper traction. The sun is still powerful even if you can’t see it, so wear moisturizer, sunblock, or even a hat. If you’re taking your pup out for some fresh air, prepare him or her as well with shoes and a coat.
Make it fun by listening to your favorite music, podcasts or audio book. Chances are doing so will keep your mind distracted so your body can stay fit. Decide when you’re going to workout and then set your clothes and shoes out ahead of time so you are prepared and less likely to procrastinate. Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine asserts that “Shorter, more intense workouts on a regular basis improve your overall results and help you maintain your fitness.” So be sure to set specific and reasonable goals you can reach that will keep you motivated.
Staying active is a great way to combat seasonal affective disorder. Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it also boosts your positive, motivating emotions, too. Part of this is biology — the body is regulating itself during exercise, but it also has to do with seeing and feeling the results of your efforts.
So, work hard to be the best version of yourself and love your body! Doing so will not only help treat your winter blues but it will help you more easily blow off steam from the stress of everyday life.