Clever Hacks to Help You Beat the Winter Workout Blues

December 19th, 2016   |  By:
During the winter months, motivation can become a rare commodity. So how do you keep yourself going when just getting out of a warm bed becomes a challenge? By setting yourself up with the right set of “tricks”. Whether you’re battling the elements — or yourself — we’ve rounded up a number of clever ways to keep yourself on track even before spring hits.
It’s All about Rhythm (and Scheduling)
It’s often easier to do something when you’re in a rhythm and used to doing it on a regular basis. One way to get working out to come routine is by scheduling time each week to work out and keep to that time. One of the best ways to do this is by writing it down or entering it into your calendar.
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The Power and Effectiveness of Friendship
 It’s odd how much easier it is to do something when we have a friend with us. If you’re more likely to keep to a commitment because you have company then try and find a shared activity that you and your friend can enjoy together. This will often keep you both going since it’s a commitment to each other as much as it is to yourself.

Spice Things Up
Change is an essential aspect of any healthy workout routine. Not only does it keep our muscles guessing, but it also stimulates our mind. One way to do this is by picking a number of different activities that give you a good work out and periodically rotate them.
There are a couple of different ways to do this:
• Add swimming to your routine by joining a local indoor pool.
• Signing up for gym classes.
• Going outside for part of your routine and finishing indoors.

Start Right, Gear Up For The Cold
One of the most important things that you can do before any work out is to warm up. As we slowly warm up we drive more blood to our muscles allowing them to adapt to the demands we’re putting on them. This also gives both muscles and tendons time to loosen up which helps prevent avoidable injuries. During the winter months, warming up becomes even more important as our muscles are even tighter thanks to the cold. It’s for this reason that many of us are more prone to injury during the winter than they are during spring or summer.

Start off by doing light activities like jumping jacks, running in place, using a jump rope or, if you have one, an exercise bike. Even a brisk walk can be good just so long as you’re moving blood to your muscles and especially to your extremities where you feel the cold the most.

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Dress for The Weather
Dressing right is one of the most important things you can do for a winter workout:

  • Protect your skin. While you may not feel the heat as much as in the summer you can still get sunburn in the winter. Just like how water on any body of water can reflect the sun’s light increasing your exposure, the snow can do the same thing. Wear sunscreen on sunny days (yes even in the dead of winter). Also make sure that you keep your hands (and face) covered with proper winter gear that will protect you from the chill and wind without making you sweat unnecessarily.
  • Wear breathable fabrics. The key is not to just be warm but also stay dry. Not doing this will cause you to sweat unnecessarily which will then cool against your skin, chilling you as you work out.
  • Make good use of layers. Combat the cold by layering up. You should have at least one layer that will wick moisture away from your skin and one that will protect you from the wind. Use additional layers if the weather makes it necessary to stay warm.

When Running: Start Into The Wind
By starting off going into the wind you’ll be able to have it at your back on the second half of your workout or run. This is important because it will reduce the wind chill you’ll face as you head back, which will in turn reduce how cold you feel after you start sweating.

Safety First
The winter not only impacts the outside conditions around you, but also the people around you. Even during the day be sure to wear bright clothes and reflective gear so you stand out. It’s important to be especially alert around roads. Since the ice and snow tends to make everything much more reflective it’s harder to distinguish anything that doesn’t stand out against the glare.

Dry Off After You’re Done
Slip out of wet clothes as soon as you’re done. If showering immediately afterwards isn’t an option then slip into a new set of clothes to stay warm.

Know When To Stay Inside
While we’ve mentioned this before in our other posts, this bears repeating. Stay indoors when you know you should. Sometimes it might be too cold, too windy, too dark or just too dangerous. When that happens move your workout indoors and do what you can. The best thing you can do is stick to your routine even if it’s a bit lighter on some days.

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What do you think of this list? Which “healthy hack” is your favorite? What would you add to this list?

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