How To Keep Fit This Winter (2023 EDITION)
Ugh! It's that time of year again - we are a few weeks out from the Winter Equinox and until then, the days will continue to get shorter and our motivation to stay active will wane.
For some of us, the very thought of leaving our cozy homes to go outside in the cold is brrrr...acing.
Add to that a layer of snow or ice and it's enough to make even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast throw in the towel until the temperatures are going back in the right direction.
But there are ways to stay motivated and keep your fitness; despite what many believe, it is still possible to get a great workout in during the winter months.
You just need to get a little creative and use some basic equipment.
With a little bit of creativity and effort, you can stay in shape all winter long.
It's not hard, and can even be fun, to work out when the weather outside is frightful.
- Make it a goal to just get yourself to the gym - getting there is at least half the battle and you will find something to do once you're there.
- Focus on the mental health benefits of exercise - this can help motivate you to get moving.
- Dress for success and buy some new workout clothes to help motivate you.
- Keep track of your training to allow you to see your progress.
- Take rest days and listen to your body to prevent overtraining.
Make It Social
There is always something to be said for working out with someone, whether that's a family member, friend or a group of strangers.
If you can find someone(s) to help keep you accountable, it will go a long way in helping you stay on track with your fitness goals throughout the winter.
It's an excellent way of keeping yourself accountable plus it can make working out more fun. It's a great way to socialise, meet new people and make friends while getting in some exercise.
Get It On The Calendar
Hands up, how many of us exercise 'on the fly'? And, out of those, how many actually make it to the gym on a regular basis?!
One of the very best things you can do, especially during the winter, is schedule your workouts - yes, you may not make it every single session but we guarantee you'll make it more often than not.
It doesn't have to be complicated either - you can use a simple calendar app on your phone or even just write it down in a notebook. Just knowing that you have a set time and place for your workout will help motivate you to get out of bed (or off the couch) and go.
If you are working out at home, set a specific time for your workout and stick to it. It's much harder to make excuses when you know you only have 30 minutes to get it done.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Now, you might think we've lost the plot but hear us out: When it comes to your environment, you need to level up!
That means removing most, if not all, obstacles to you getting your workout in like leaving your workout gear out the night before so it's the first thing you see when you wake up; if mornings are hard but are also the only time you can realistically exercise, lose the snooze - put your alarm far enough away from your bed that you have to get up to switch it off; to help soften the blow of a 05.30am call, set a timer on your heater to make sure that a cold floor and a chill in the air isn't going to derail your good intentions.
Getting rid of your "pain points" will go a long way in helping you stay on track throughout the winter months.
Make It A Goal Just To Get To The Gym
This is not as daft as it sounds - maybe you're looking to get back into the gym but it's been weeks/months/years since you last went and now the darker nights and winter weather have snuck up on you.
Make it your goal to just get yourself there - once you're there, we guarantee that you'll be able to find something to do.
It doesn't matter if you don't have a workout plan or you're not sure what you should be doing; getting yourself in the door is half the battle. And, once you're in the gym, you've kinda already won - if you can't even get yourself there in the first place, progress is never going to happen...
Focus On The Mental Health Benefits
For the last few years, exercise and its benefits on mental health have been in the spotlight - and for good reason.
It's been proven that exercise can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression; it can improve your mood, memory and focus; and can even help you sleep better.
So, if you're struggling to find motivation this winter, focus on all of the things that working out can do for your mental health. We guarantee it will help you get out the door (or on the treadmill).
Dress For Success
Now, no one's saying you need to buy a whole new workout wardrobe but dressing for success definitely helps with motivation.
If you have cute workout clothes, you're more likely to actually want to put them on and get moving. If all you have is an old t-shirt and some joggers that have been living at the back of your wardrobe for an eternity, chances are you're not going to be hyped to hit the gym.
No need to break the bank, of course - maybe just switch one old thing out for a new one, something/anything that makes you feel good when you put them on and you'll soon see the difference it can make...
Keep Track Of Your Training
When it comes to fitness, seeing is believing. And nothing makes you feel more motivated (and accomplished) than looking back on your training and seeing how far you've come.
Whether you use a notebook, a Google doc or even just the notes app on your phone, track your workouts. Write down what you did, how long for and how you felt afterwards.
You can even add in things like your diet, how much water you're drinking each day and any other relevant information that will help you see the bigger picture.
The better you feel, the more motivated you'll be to continue on your fitness journey...
Give Yourself A Rest
Training regularly is important, however, so is resting regularly. It's important to find a balance between training hard and giving your body (and mind) a chance to recover.
This might mean taking an extra rest day or two each week or scaling back the intensity of your workouts. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you - if you're tired, rest.
Taking rest days is not a sign of weakness; in fact, it could be turned into your super-power!
Our bodies have ways of giving little hints of what it needs and, if you're not listening/actively ignoring them, it has a habit of taking you down... with a sledgehammer, usually!
These are just a few tips to help you get started on your winter fitness journey.
Getting to the gym is hard - we know. Especially when it's cold and dark and probably raining and... (insert own excuse here)...
Being active has so many benefits that go beyond just our physical health – it can improve our mental and emotional wellbeing, too. If you’re finding it hard to find the motivation to get moving, keep these tips in mind next time you’re putting off a workout.
So, what are some things you can do this week to get yourself closer to your fitness goals?
Let us know in the comments!