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Stay Motivated for Winter Exercise

Winter Exercise MotivationI’m the first to admit that I am not a winter person. The cold is physically painful to me, and the idea of stepping outside to get some exercise is about as unappealing as getting my teeth extracted.

I know I’m not alone. The other day a friend confided that she has gained several pounds in the last month because she can’t bring herself to get to the gym because it is “too freakin’ cold!” I sympathize. As I sit here writing this post, the cold creeps into my bones, making me feel like a human icicle.

Although a few extra pounds of padding may seem like a wonderful natural insulator, most of us don’t necessarily like what that means from an aesthetic or health perspective. Instead of letting the cold get the best of you, consider some of the following to keep you motivated through these next couple of months.

  1. Gear Up: First thing’s first: to play in the cold, you need to dress for the cold. Look for workout clothes that are seasonally appropriate, and that will insulate you, but also keep you dry. Moisture-wicking fabrics are important so your sweat doesn’t end up making you cold. And, wind-breaking gear is especially important on those cold blustery days you consider venturing outside.
  2. Rethink Timing: As the number of daylight hours have decreased, your optimal time to exercise may have changed.  You may find your normal evening workout isn’t as easy to do as a lunch-hour workout, or vice verse.  Think about when you’re most inclined to want to exercise and seize that time of day for your workout.
  3. Embrace Winter Sports with Friends: Make the cold fun by taking up a winter sport you can share with friends. When we share things with others, we add a whole other level of enjoyment that can take our minds off of the negative. Consider down-hill skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, ice skating, or cross-country skiing.  Make a weekend of it and getaway as a group to a winter resort. Or, try to add one or two of these into your regimen to keep things seasonally appropriate and fun.
  4. Stay Social: Even though the holidays are over, you don’t have to stop the fun. The more social we are, the more inclined we are to look our best. Accept party invitations, make dinner dates, and keep the social calendar flowing. You’ll want to stay fit and energized.
  5. Ward off the Bugs: Exercise is a great way to ward off the bugs during flu season. The more fit you are, the more in shape your immune system, meaning the less likely you will be to get sick.
  6. Spring is Just Around the Corner: Although it may feel like there is no end in sight to winter, spring is just around the corner. Plus, winter breaks often mean an escape to warmer climates. Instead of having to shed pounds to fit into your favorite spring and summer pieces, be ready for the change in season by staying fit. Keep a bathing suit or a favorite sundress front and center in your drawer or closet to keep you motivated.
  7. Remember the Big Picture: Finally, although you may easily find an excuse for not exercising, remind yourself that maintaining good health is instrumental to your happiness and wellbeing. On the days you feel unmotivated, think of the big picture and how good you will feel after the workout is over.

Share the love and tweet: Winter is short term, your health isn’t. Now is the time to prepare for bathing suit season. @brettblumenthal

Now it’s your turn. How do you stay motivated in the winter? Share in the comments below so we can all benefit!



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