Let's face it, when the weather drops and the holiday season ramps up, our motivation to workout is often the first thing to slip out the door for a vacation. Working out can feel like just another thing to cram into your ever-growing list of to-dos.
The cold, snowy weather and shorter days don't help either. And frankly, if you have extra time, you'd rather cuddle up under a blanket and binge watch Netflix.
But exercising offers a host of health benefits, especially helping to relieve the stress that seems to accumulate during the most wonderful time of year. If you find that yourself in a workout rut or just need an extra dose of motivation, here are 11 ways to get moving this winter.
1. Buddy Up
Pair up with a friend to go for a run or walk or to try a new fitness class. It's a great chance to catch up and time flies. Plus, it's harder to skip out when you've made a commitment to someone else.
2. Holiday Lights Run
Instead of running your regular route, chart out a path that takes you by the decorated houses in your neighborhood or past holiday store windows for some window shopping. It's a fun way to make your run a bit more festive. End your run at a local cafe for hot chocolate to warm up.3. Snowball Fight!
Have a snowball fight with your kids. No joke. You'll run around in the snow and burn calories while filling your bellies with laughter. Plus, it's good for your kids to see you goof around.4. Challenge Yourself
There are a number of fitness and yoga challenges hosted by bloggers and on Instagram during this time of year. Having a structured program can give you the extra push to get out of the door or to work out at home. One of my favorites is the #SweatADay challenge on Instagram hosted by Shauna Harrison.5. Streak It
Jerry Seinfeld's secret to building a habit? Don't break the chain! There's something satisfying about sticking with something day after day. Make a daily goal, anything from run a mile to walk 10,000 steps to go to the gym. Then, keep track of each day that you achieve your goal. You can even get an app to help you. And don't break the streak!6. Change It Up
Your lack of motivation may just be a sign that you're bored of your routine. Now is a great time to try something new. Sign-up for that fitness class you've always wanted to try. Plus, if you've booked and paid online, you're less likely to cancel.7. Make Use of Downtime
With all the downtime during the day, you can sneak in a lot of activity. Do squats and lunges in the kitchen while the oven pre-heats. Do a wall sit while brushing your teeth. Hold a plank while your coffee brews.8. Commercial Break Exercise
Stretch, foam roll or do core exercises while you're watching holiday specials on TV instead of checking your social media updates. It's an easy way to squeeze in 10-15 minutes of movement or self-care.9. Have a Dance Party
Dancing never feels like a workout but don't underestimate the cardio benefits of dancing! It's a fun way to get the whole family involved. Turn on your favorite tunes and dance it out.10. Get outside
If winter running isn't your thing, you can still exercise while enjoying the winter wonderland outside. Try ice skating or skiing. Grab a pair of snowshoes and explore your local hiking trails. Go sledding (climbing up and down that hill is hard work!).
Go for a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.11. Multitask
Do a strength training workout at home. In-between sets of your exercises, vacuum, pick-up around the house or fold laundry. You'll take care of two things at once! There are many great bodyweight workouts available that require no equipment.
Remember, working out doesn't have to mean "working out." It doesn't have to be a 30-60 minute dedicated session at the gym. Your goal is to incorporate more movement into your day and do what you can when you can.
Christine writes the blog Love, Life, Surf .
More from health