As winter continues, the motivation to achieve that summer ‘bikini bod’ has well and truly disappeared. If you’re anything like me, then you would much rather remain a couch potato until the sun comes out in spring. It can be so tempting to wrap yourself up in blankets every evening, with a mug of tea in hand, while watching repeats of old reality TV shows. Unfortunately, this is not the best thing to do. This is because exercise leads to the release of ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins. These are needed more than ever in the winter months. So, how can you motivate yourself to work out when the weather’s drizzly and you just want to coop up inside? Here are our top tips…
Reflect on your past exercise routine
If you were successful in sticking to a strict workout routine in summer, then take the time to reflect on how that made you feel. Although at the time, working out can be difficult, you always feel good when you finish. Ask yourself questions like ‘how did completing a workout make you feel?’ or ‘did you feel better about yourself after exercising?’ In winter, we tend to forget how much exercise actually helps us feel good. Studies show that the release of mood-enhancing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine help you to achieve a healthier and happier mindset.
When it’s dark and gloomy outside, there is no doubt that it’s harder to pick yourself up and exercise. It’s important to remember the end goal, as well as the physical and mental benefits of exercise. Remember the times you felt good after working out and use them to motivate you to get started with a winter workout.
Make a winter workout schedule
Scheduling time to exercise is an effective way to make sure you actually do workout rather than put it off. If you don’t make a plan, then it’s likely that you won’t have any structure and will find that you are not exercising as much as you should. Create a realistic plan with alternatives scheduled in case of bad weather. You will see a dramatic change in your health and fitness in no time.
Include a mixture of different workouts. For example, going for a morning run, attending a gym class or doing an at-home workout video. This will help you to keep motivated to work out, as every day is different and pushes you to different limits.
Try new classes or book a trainer
Sometimes it is possible that you will work out more effectively with an instructor pushing you along. By booking a class or working out with a trainer, you are less likely to bail on your winter workout plans. Working out doesn’t have to be monotonous either. There are so many different exercise classes that make it fun to workout! For example, why not try a spin class or a Zumba lesson. You get to listen to upbeat music while getting your sweat on at the same time! This way you don’t even have to brave the cold weather either – a win-win situation!
Perhaps even get a workout buddy such as a family member or a friend to come to workout classes with you. Knowing that someone is waiting on you is a big motivator to ensure you don’t skip your workout. Try to find someone who has a similar fitness level to you. This means you can cheer each other on and celebrate when you reach your goals!
Invest in winter workout gear
If you’re the type of person who would rather go for an outdoor run rather than hitting up the gym, then it’s all the more important you wear good workout clothes. If you want to keep on track as winter draws closer, then you want to make sure you work out with layers. For those colder days, layer up in gloves, a beanie, a water-resistant jacket, a base layer top and thick leggings. This will ensure you don’t get too cold while working out and means you can always remove layers if you get too hot. Who doesn’t love a good shopping spree?!
When working out in the winter it can be really hard to conjure the motivation to get yourself going. Yet hopefully these tips will get you on track in no time. Remember not to compare yourself to others and exercise purely for yourself and your personal goals. You’ve got this!