Stay Motivated And Fit In The Winter
Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug
The temperature dips and along with it, your motivation. You do your best to keep telling yourself “summer bodies are made in the winter,” but it isn’t doing the trick. Nothing is. Deep down you want to get moving and be fit, yet the cold has a way of turning your goals into pipe dreams and the couch into your main destination.
If you’re sick of falling off the wagon during the winter, or hoping to make this the fittest winter of your life, here are some different approaches that can help you get that so called “summer body”.
Try a completely new workout
Cardio is your go-to workout but you’re starting to get sick of it? Try doing strength training workouts instead. Been eyeing that new barre studio but haven’t signed up yet? Sign up for it. Winter can be one of the most mundane seasons, so entirely changing up what you do can keep things interesting. When you are mentally stimulated rather than being bored to tears, you are way more apt to stick with it. If you’ve been going to the same gym forever, consider switching to another gym. And if you’re not really in the mood to try new studios, but you want new workouts, look around online and on YouTube for workouts you can do at home. Some studios even offer live video classes that you can do in the comfort of your own home. And don’t think because you are doing it at home that it’s not that hard. They are just as hard as in-person classes and with consistency, you will get results.
Sign up for a race
The good old fashioned sign up for a race so you have to stick with training works, especially in the winter. For years I didn’t run outside during the winter because I don’t like being cold, but then I realized my reasoning was ridiculous. My overall fitness was declining and the treadmill turned into the dreadmill, so I started to run outside regardless of my dislike for the cold. And now I LOVE winter running. I even started to run a lot of races with a running partner every winter and it keeps us both committed. We began to use the term “winter magic” because there’s something magical about being outside in nature during the freezing cold months, believe it or not. Dressing yourself right is key, what you wear in the spring isn’t going to cut it. Invest in some winter running gear so you don’t set yourself up for failure. My times are now quicker in winter races vs. summer races and maybe it’s because I am zipping along so I can get inside ASAP but nonetheless, I’m out there doing it. My personal rule is that I won’t run outside if it’s below 20 degrees, but anything else over that is doable for me. It may take a while to get used to the cold temperatures at first, but over time with some exposure your body gets used to it.
Use the Sauna
In my opinion the sauna is one of the most brilliant inventions to date. I’m always surprised with how many people don’t take advantage of a sauna. I LOVE THE HEAT! The hotter, the better. So when I open the door to a sauna I feel like I am walking into utopia. My version of heaven. If you’re like me and you much prefer to be warm, the sauna works --and works quickly. Sometimes it only takes a few seconds to heat up internally and just like that you feel way more motivated than you did before you walked inside. A Jedi mind trick that turns the laziest of them all to the energizer bunny in an instant. The sauna helps to loosen muscles, relaxes the body and gets you out of that “I’m too cold to move” mindset.
Keep a vision board in sight
If you are in winter hibernation mode with a sluggish brain and bulky clothes, it can be hard to even care about how you feel, never mind how you look. I’m all about relaxing and taking it slow during the colder months but if you stay inactive for too long, you’ll lose any base you have. And most likely you’ll start feeling crappy and gain the weight back that you worked hard to lose. Even though it may feel cheesy or like it’s too over the top, using a fitness vision board can really help motivate you to work out and set some goals. Frigid temps and snow storms makes spring feel like it’s anything but around the corner, even though it’s really right around the corner. Every year it’s the same thing, it feels like we are stuck in winter forever but then the collective freak out begins because spring has sprung, it’s time to wear less and people regret not working out sooner.