Getting up before dawn to get a good run in is a pain and requires a lot of willpower to get up from a snugly warm bed. Come winter time, it’s triple the effort just to roll out of bed, lace up, and grudgingly make your way to your running route. The average Joe would question your sanity of foregoing some extra nice warm Zzzs in favour of freezing out in the cold.
Average Joe, however, is missing the point. Exercise hits two birds…keeping warm and keeping fit. Don’t throw away months of a good fitness routine just because it’s a little bit more difficult to get that discipline down pat during the cold season. Step up your game, maintain, or shift gears to something else. The important thing is, keep that motivation to move, move, move! And here’s how…
Suit Up Good
It’s different in the summer when a thin shirt, shorts, and a good pair of shoes are all you need to hit the road. Winter demands piling on more sportswear to help you battle the chilly elements of outdoor workouts. Invest in good, warm gear like a warm track jacket, full length running tights, a cosy cap, gloves, and other clothing if you are an outdoor runner or sportsman. Knowing you can get toasty from the get-go makes outdoor workouts not such a bad deal.
Outdoor exercise still too unpalatably cold for you? Workout indoors instead. Drive to a gym or more economically, turn your living space into a workout floor. Tabata workouts and other HIITs (High Intensity Interval Training) can be as strenuous as a run. You can round out your indoor interval trainings with yoga to enhance your fitness regimen.
Do Something New
If running or brisk walking has been your go-to fitness activity, it may be time to switch gears and do something new. Learning a new sport or workout goes a long way into keeping your interest to lace up and brace the cold. Go with the freezing flow and learn a winter sport or do a different cardiovascular exercise such as boxing. Aside from putting on a new spin to your fitness program, changing your workout routine offers new challenges to help keep your body from plateauing.
As the Beatles sang true with “I get by with a little help from my friends,” consider buddying up or two. Better yet, form a workout group. There is nothing like a friend or a bunch of them hollering to get your lazy winter bones off that cosy couch in the cold months. It works most of the time, unless everyone starts copping out. Then, you’ll have to lead the fray. Either way, you get your motivation.
Just hitting the road under a frigid temperature is testament to your discipline and commitment to fitness. Reward yourself a little when you’ve done more than you usually do. A hot latte, a nice warm bagel, or a new sports top, why not? What more motivation do we need when a dangling reward is at the end of a “well done” rod? Work hard; play a little but not too much. <wink!>
Sign Up for a Competition
Taking on a huge goal like a competition will definitely rev up your motivation, cold weather be damned. You have a compelling reason to train so this in itself might be all you need to amp up your workout in the cold season. One thing’s for sure, ramping your calorie burning furnace will definitely keep you all trim and toasty while your couch-loving, weight-gaining friends are freezing their toes off.
Doll Up in New Workout Gear
You know that cute jacket looks smashing on you. Why not indulge a little and put some snazz into your workout wear? If you know you look good, you’ll be better motivated to show off yourself on the road or at the gym. If motivation like that works for you, by all means indulge. Thumbs up for adding some style to health and fitness.
Waste Not, Want Not
If all these reasons aren’t compelling enough to motivate you to keep up your fitness program, think of next season. Would you actually want all the hard work of the previous season go down the drain just because you can’t muster enough discipline to see it through hard times? When the next warmer season rolls out, you’ll find that all that stamina and muscle wasted on lolling about all winter long have petered down to half of what you had. Now you’ve got to start at half mast or Heaven forbid, from scratch!
Staying fit during the cold season dispels the winter blues and gets you ship-shape for bikini season. If you just can find the fun in the cold, it will make working out much less of a chore.
It’s a no pain, no gain world. Buckle down and get on maintaining or working out harder during the cold season. You won’t regret your monumental efforts.