The 21 Best Tips To Stay Motivated To Workout During Colder Months in 2021
Struggling to keep up with the exercise routine you stuck to during the summer months? You are not alone. Shorter days, longer nights and colder temperatures can make it tough for even the most dedicated individuals to stick with their fitness routine.
Here, we’ll look at the 21 best tips for staying active and keeping yourself motivated until warmer weather returns.
21 Tips for Staying Active Until Spring
1. Get Out for a Walk
If the weather cooperates, getting out for a walk is a great way to get your body moving, enjoy some fresh air, and get some natural light. Walking offers a host of scientifically proven benefits including:
- Enhanced mood
- Potential for weight loss
- Boosted energy
- Immune system support
- Heart support
- Enhanced creativity
On snowy or slippery days, an indoor shopping center or mall makes for a warm, safe place to fit in a walk.
2. Seek Out a Group or Exercise Partner
Even if you are currently working out from home, considering joining a live online class. Joining other people who are working on improving their health is fun, a great way to meet friends, and can help keep you motivated. It also includes built-in accountability since other people are counting on you to show up.
3. Stay Cozy
If you tackle your workouts early in the morning, you know how tempting it can be to stay warm and cozy in bed rather than getting up for a workout. Program your thermostat to work in your favor so you can look forward to waking up to a warm room. You can also go a step further by placing your workout clothes near a heater.
4. Commit to Getting Ready
Set a goal to get ready no matter what. Whether that is getting dressed in your workout gear to workout in your living room or showing up to the gym, commit to it. Then, give yourself the option to just do a very short workout and leave after a few minutes if you want.
This works surprisingly well since there is a strong chance that once you are dressed and have worked out for a few minutes, you will keep going! If some days you only complete a few minutes, that is okay too.
5. Fit Exercise Into a Lunch Break
Something about dark mornings and nights can make it tough to get motivated to workout. Solution? Customize your workouts to fit them into your lunch break midday during peak light when possible.
If the weather cooperates, use your lunch break to take a long walk. If you are working from home, 20 minutes is all you need to fit in an effective, sweaty workout. To make the most of your time, consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Even if you can’t commit to a 20 or 30 minutes workout during your lunch break, make a point to fit in small bursts of movement throughout the day. Do a set of bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, jumping jacks, or squats when possible.
These exercises require no equipment and minimal space, making them convenient to complete throughout the day. You might be surprised at how many short bursts of movement throughout the day add up.
6. Put Your Exercise Clothes On Before Coming Home From Work
Sometimes simple tricks are all it takes to ensure you get a workout in. Before leaving work or right when you get home, change into your gear.
Anything that puts you one step closer to working out is a great way to ensure it happens. Once you already have your workout clothes on, it will most likely be difficult to change them without having to get your workout in.
7. Sleep In Your Workout Clothes
Just like the tip above, sleeping in your workout clothes makes it that much easier to make sure you get active. Waking up in your workout clothes automatically puts you one step closer to workout out. You can hop out of bed, warm and ready to go.
8. Get Swimming
If working out in the cold isn’t for you, try some indoor swimming in a warm pool. Swimming is excellent cardiovascular exercise and is one of the best options if you are looking for a great low impact workout.
Many indoor pools often feature hot tubs or saunas or both — a great treat to look forward to after completing your workout!
9. Use Your Morning Alarm To Your Advantage
Set your alarm to wake you up with a favorite song, preferably something motivating and upbeat to help get you out of bed and ready to workout.
If you find yourself hitting the snooze button too often, try moving your alarm clock across the room so you are forced to get out of bed to turn it off.
10. Try a Winter Sport
Snowshoeing, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports burn major calories, get you out in the fresh air, and make winter fun. Falling in love with a winter sport may actually get you excited for winter each year!
Whether you watch beginner YouTube videos, hire an instructor for private lessons, or just give it a try, a winter sport can be a great way to challenge yourself and stay fit.
11. Warm Up Before Heading Outside
Before facing the cold air, it may be helpful to do a few active stretches to get your blood flowing and heart rate up. Try some jumping jacks, arm circles, or butt kicks to help pump you up before heading out in the cold.
12. Try a New Workout
Find a new workout to try that sounds fun, is out of your comfort zone, or is something you have always wanted to try. Or aim to try a new workout every week.
If you do not want to take an in-person class, YouTube is bursting with fun, unique, fresh workout options to stay active and stave off boredom.
13. Keep a Journal
Remember that great feeling you get after a hard workout? Maybe you feel more positive? Or more energized? Less stressed? Keep notes in a journal of the way you feel right after a good workout and look through it when you need motivation.
Reminding yourself of how great you feel after a tough sweat session may help keep you on track on days you are tempted to skip a workout.
14. Post Your Workout Updates on Social Media
Need help staying accountable to your winter workout goals? Updating your workout progress to friends and family on social media is an easy way to stay accountable. They may also offer invaluable support and advice to keep you motivated.
15. Treat Yourself to New Workout Gear
Now is a great time to splurge on a new workout or gym gear. Having the right clothes is especially important for cold weather. If you know you’ll be warm, prepared, and comfortable regardless of the temperature or weather conditions, you are far more likely to get out and stick to your workout.
The proper gear is also a matter of safety. In slippery conditions, the right traction on your shoes or boots is crucial. To stay comfortable outside, choose proper footwear, cozy thermal leggings, a warm coat, mittens, warm socks, and a hat.
Even if you aren’t training outside, investing in new workout gear for home or the gym can help keep you motivated.
16. Make a Fitness Goal for Spring
A goal to aim for by spring can be a great way to stay motivated through colder months. Whether it is training for a half marathon, losing a certain amount of weight, fitting in a particular pair of jeans, or increasing your confidence, choose a goal and take small steps each week toward reaching it by spring. Knowing spring is approaching can help keep you on track to your goals.
17. Set Yourself Up With Home Gym Equipment
If you do not want to deal with the cold, no worries! There are endless indoor options for working out. Working out at home means you don’t even have to face the cold to get to the gym!
With all the online streaming options and free Youtube workouts, you can easily get your sweat on inside.
Although plenty of options are equipment free, having the right equipment makes it even easier to get in a good indoor workout.
Some great ideas for home gym equipment include:
- A yoga mat
- An exercise ball
- Free weights
- A jump rope
- Resistance bands
- A foam roller
- A mini-trampoline
- A simple wall mirror to check your form
- Weighted medicine balls
- Your favorite workout DVDs
- Gliding disks
- Ankle weights
- A pedometer or fitness tracker
- Yoga blocks
If you have space and the budget, you can also consider investing in exercise machines such as an elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike.
18. Reward Yourself
Did you get your workout in despite the cold, shorter days? Treat yourself! Get a massage, have a warm cup of tea prepared to sip during and after your workout, enjoy a long bath with Epsom salts to soothe muscles, or curl up for a few episodes of your favorite show.
19. Make a Plan and Stick With It
Set a plan for your workouts and stick with it. Schedule exercise into your day as you would meetings, appointments, or deadlines you can’t miss. Keep a planner and schedule out the time and days you will work out at the beginning of each week.
20. Remember ALL the Benefits of Working Out
Burning calories and working your muscles is great, but the benefits of exercise don’t stop there. When it is dark and cold and you are tempted to stay cozied up in bed, remember how good you feel after a tough workout session.
Those endorphins are important for staying upbeat through winter and supporting a healthy stress response.
21. Be Kind To Yourself
Remind yourself that many people find it difficult to stay active in the winter. Cut yourself some slack, do what you can, and celebrate your fitness accomplishments (no matter how small).
We hope these tips help you find new ways to fit exercise in, no matter the weather.
What are your favorite winter activities and tips for staying active despite cold weather? Do you use any of the tricks above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.