Keeping up your fitness in the winter

If your workout routine has gotten sluggish as the temperature has gone down and you want to get things going again, there’s no time like the present. We share some tips on how to get into a fitness routine again despite the gloomy weather.

Woman exercising at gym listening to music

When it’s summer and nice out, it’s easy to go for a walk or a run or to pop by the gym. And the added motivation of cute dresses and bikinis certainly doesn’t hurt either! But as the cold weather moves in, heavy stews seem more appealing than light salads, and talking yourself into going for a jog in the chilly air can seem next to impossible. So what’s a girl to do? You have holiday parties coming up that you want to look your best for, and the only way to do so is by getting your fitness routine moving again!

Test out some workout DVDs

If the cold air really bothers you, finding workouts you can do at home is a great place to start. And don’t think you have to spend a fortune buying DVDs you may or may not like. Just borrow them from your local library. Whether you want to work on your cardio/endurance, your strength, your balance/flexibility or just have fun learning a new style of dance, there’s a workout DVD that’s bound to speak to you.

Don’t make it a job on its own

Getting up the motivation to drive to the gym or head out for a run in the cold air can seem unbearable. But if you make it a part of something else, it may not feel so daunting. For example, stop by the gym on your way to or from work. That way it isn’t a matter of getting yourself together to go. You’re already in the car, you have all your gear with you, and it’s just a matter of popping by for as long as you can manage. You can even consider renting a locker so all your clothing will already be there and you just have to show up — no packing required. Or if you don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, make running or walking part of your daily errands. Run to the post office to mail your letters, or walk to the grocery store when you have to pick up a few things. For many, running around in the cold with no particular purpose other than exercise is unenjoyable. But if you have a specific destination point, you’ll know exactly how long you need to power through to accomplish your goal. And once that’s done, you may even find you don’t mind continuing on!

Warm up indoors

When you’re sitting inside feeling comfortable, going out into the cold has little appeal. Rather than heading out for a walk or run and taking 10 minutes to warm up before you feel comfortable, do your warm-up inside. Run on the spot, do jumping jacks, or skip if you have room until your blood starts pumping and you feel warmer. If you work up enough of a sweat, you’ll be more than happy to get out into the fresh air.

Distract yourself from the cold

When you have nothing to think about but being cold, of course you won’t have fun. That’s why distractions are so important. A great first step is to get a friend involved. Having someone who will hold you accountable is effective, and so is just having a friend to talk to while you work out. You can also rely on music or podcasts while working out outdoors and TV or a good book if you’re on a stationary machine. Or if you want to throw your usual workouts aside and try something new entirely, take a new fitness class, such as yoga, Pilates, kick-boxing, Zumba, hip hop or whatever other options a gym near you offers. It’s a lot easier to motivate yourself to do something when you know you’ll have fun doing it.

Don’t wait until the New Year to amp up your fitness!

More fitness tips

Tricks to get walking more
Tips for running in the cold
8 Tips for training and eating like an athlete

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