How to stay motivated – and warm – during the winter months

How to stay motivated - and warm - during the winter monthsThe days are short, the nights are long, and the temperature has dropped – it’s cold, wet, and miserable outside, but here’s how to stay motivated this winter.

Just because the weather has turned from fair to foul doesn’t mean that you should slack off on your fitness regime, though it may be quite difficult to motivate yourself when it seems like a much better idea to simply pull the duvet up over your head, turn over, and go back to sleep. However, there are ways to make keeping up with your exercise regime less painful during the cold, dreary winter months that will leave you looking better – and feeling better – once the warmer season comes back in a few months.

START OUT WARM AND STAY THAT WAY

Early mornings in the winter can be absolutely brutal when it comes to getting warm and keeping that way. Waking up and then shrugging into freezing cold exercise clothes is enough to discourage almost anyone, but you can get around this by placing your exercise clothes in your dryer the evening before.

Once you wake up, make your way over to your dryer and let it run for a few minutes – just long enough go give your clothes a nice, warm glow that will help you begin your exercise regime. It will help your warm up routine if you’re already warmed up, and it will help to keep your temperature more comfortable throughout your exercise regime – and help to avoid injury due to cold muscles on a cold morning!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO COME IN FROM THE COLD

Once you’re ready to venture outside into the cold, wet, and most likely rather uncomfortable weather to begin your workout, don’t feel like you’ve got to spend huge amounts of time outside in the elements. In fact, you can spend as little as five minutes outside at a time before coming back in for another five to ten minutes to warm yourself up or dry yourself off.

In addition, you can avoid going outside in the nasty weather completely if you have access to exercise equipment at home or at a local gym. Spending half an hour on some cardiovascular equipment such as a treadmill in the comfort of a warm, dry gym or exercise room is a massive improvement over slogging along wet, slushy cold pavement, and it’s also much safer as well.

However, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some excellent winter workouts that you simply can’t get during those warmer months. Once snow begins to fall, you can’t work for a better bit of exercise than shoveling the driveway after a snowstorm or a blizzard – just make sure to take regular breaks and be careful not to hurt yourself with the snow shovel!

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Image: No topo! by andreadg

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