Embrace the Cold With Winter Workouts
Although it’s much easier to ride in a car than your bike during the winter months, you shouldn’t let cold weather prevent you from getting your daily workout. If you are a dedicated exercise buff in the warmer months, you don’t want to lose ground by staying inside all winter. Here are some ways to motivate yourself to bundle up and get outdoors.
If you go to a gym to get your workouts, it’s no big deal to exercise when it’s dark outside. However, if you are a roadrunner or prefer to train outside, you may have to change your workout schedule. Your workday might not allow you time in the evening to get in a run, so consider going on your lunch break or earlier in the morning. You can get several short workouts in during the day instead of one long one if you have no other options.
Get the Gear
You will feel a lot more amenable to exercising outdoors if you know for sure you will be comfortable and warm when you get out there. Now is the time to invest in some cold-weather clothing that will wick moisture and breathe while still keeping you appropriately warm.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, take advantage of the added difficulty. Exercising in snowy conditions will get your heart rate up quickly, meaning you don’t have to be out there as long. Plus, cold air is great for clearing your lungs.
Get a Buddy
Just like with warm-weather workouts, having an exercise buddy increases the likelihood you will make time for the work out. Accountability is one of the best motivators at any time of year. Besides, you probably know someone else who’d rather watch football, too, so you both can benefit from this approach and feel better when spring rolls around.
You might find that winter workouts are harder on your body and schedule than during the rest of the year. Don’t beat yourself up if it gets complicated, just keep doing everything you can to get at least three workouts in per week. Once you are into the swing of things, you can increase to five per week.
Eye on the Prize
It’s a great idea to stay focused during this time. You can try one of two different approaches: Either try to maintain your fitness level through the winter and the treacherous holiday season, or set yourself a big goal to work toward throughout the cold months. Regardless of which direction you choose to go, having an end game in mind will help keep you on track.
Finally, if you just can’t drag yourself into the cold for your regular run or hike, consider trying a new exercise you’ve always been hesitant to do. Perhaps you could find an indoor pool and swim laps. Or, you could see what the CrossFit movement is all about. Starting something new not only will help keep you interested, it can challenge your muscles in a new way.
Although it can be tempting to hibernate through winter and skip your workouts, your health level will be much better if your force yourself to get outside. Who knows, you may even find that chilly weather suits you so well you’ll spend your summer wishing it was cold again!