If you’re struggling to maintain any kind of exercise routine right now, we promise you’re not alone. Dragging yourself to the gym or bundling up for an outdoor run can feel downright impossible during the dark, cold months of winter.
It’s no secret that winter can be a tough time to stay motivated about working out. Between short days, longer nights, and the holiday season, it can be hard to drag yourself to the gym or bundle up for an outdoor run. But before you throw your hands up in defeat and give up entirely, take heart: You’re not alone.
Exercise produces feel-good hormones like endorphins and serotonin while also increasing sleep quality and energy levels, reducing stress and more. In fact, exercise is key to maintaining good health all year long!
Five Exercise Tips to Stay Motivated While Exercising This Winter
Here are some of the most effective exercise tips that you can implement this winter:
1) Be consistent with your sleep
A consistent sleep schedule and eight hours of sleep per night are key to keeping up your energy levels for a workout, whether you’re hitting the gym or heading out for a run. Make sure you’re well-rested!
To help you adjust to a sleep routine, pick a bedtime and wake up time that works for you. If mornings aren’t your thing, don’t set your alarm for 5 a.m.; start at a reasonable hour and work your way back as your body adjusts. Your body will adjust quickly, and you will crave the consistency of a structured sleep routine.
2) Drink water as soon as you wake up
Your body’s pH levels are typically more acidic when you wake up. But don’t worry—your body has a built-in buffer system to aid in regulation. If you consume coffee or other acids, it can affect your pH balance.
It’s good to drink water before you go for coffee, and in the winter it’s especially important to drink warm or room temperature water, as cold water can slow down your digestion. Add some lemon or ginger for an extra alkaline boost.
3) Workout Clothes
When you go to the gym, it’s easy to focus on how you look instead of what you can do. But if you dress for the occasion in warm, comfy clothes and wear a cap or gloves to keep your head warm, it’ll actually be easier to exercise. Remember to prioritize keeping your hands and feet covered!
4) Sign up for the race
If you struggle to stick with a workout plan, sign up for a race. A hefty entry fee will keep you motivated, and having something to look forward to will give your miles more meaning.
Most races are scheduled in the summer and autumn months, so why not explore an unexplored city? The more you have invested, the bigger the commitment and the bigger the commitment, the more likely you are to stick with it.
5) Change of mindset
If you’re feeling unmotivated to exercise, the best thing to do is get outside. The fresh air will help you feel energized and boost your creativity.
The sun also helps your body produce vitamin D, which aids in both bone health and immune support. On top of that, you’ll burn more calories exercising in the cold because your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature. Throw in a few hill sprints, and your metabolism will kick into overdrive.
Exercising in wintertime can be a real challenge, but it’s not impossible. When times get tough, remember what you’re working towards. A healthy lifestyle can be incredibly motivating, and it’s worth keeping that in mind when the skies are gray and you don’t feel like moving at all. Just take charge of your physical and mental health; don’t let the Winter Blues get their way.