The cold coupled with shorter days drives us indoors for longer spans of time in the winter. This trend can cause us to become gradually less active, which cuts both into our mood and metabolism.
In other words, it’s natural to feel bogged down by the cold winter season, but you don’t have to succumb to the “winter blues.” Take extra steps to counter act these changes in weather to stay true your healthy living goals.
Make sure you’re already on track come spring time with these tips to overcome the excuses that we often use to wait till the weather becomes warmer.
Fight The Cold
It can often be tempting to retreat back inside, under the covers or even curled up next to a space heater. If the cold is what has you doubting your resolve to work out here are a few things you can do.
1. Get warm before you start.
Warming your workout clothes in the dryer is a great way to start off. Not only does it give you an extra little warm boost, but as a bonus it warms up your muscles a little as you start your routine or head to the gym. A warm shower can also have the same effect of getting you in the mood.
These techniques are extremely effective if you’re doing your work out early in the morning. The added warmth will help you perk and help you out of the natural sedentary mode your body falls into when cold or asleep.
2. Use the gym as a warm oasis.
As simple as it may seem, many of us forget that during the winter our local gym is an oasis of exercising warmth in the middle of the tundra that’s our home locale. This is doubly true if you’re used to working outside. Remember that not only is it going to be warmer inside than your normal outdoor location during this time of the year, but many of the larger gyms sport running tracks that will give you the feel of running outside (but without the worry of getting frostbite).
3. When all else fails. Stay home.
Yes, stay home. If the cold is so bad that even the drive to the gym is an experience you’d rather avoid then you might as well stay at home… and work out. Your living room can easily be transformed into a home gym with minimal effort (and movement of furniture). Suddenly, your sofa can become a great partner always willing to hold your feet while you do sit-ups or a platform to do incline and decline push-ups. When you add in a jump rope, resistance band and exercise ball you open yourself up to additional exercises that can give you a more complete workout. Look for free or low-cost videos online and on demand through your TV for guided exercise just like you might find at a local fitness class.
Tired of the Same Old Routine?
It can be hard to keep engaged with your normal work out routine during the winter.
Change is a great ally in combating this problem. You will get to concentrate more on the new thing and the fact that you’re having fun than on the cold or the fact that you’re working out.
Here are a couple of ideas to keep things interesting this winter:
1. Join a local pool.
2. Sign up for a group fitness class. Better yet, invite a friend to join you!
3. Find a rec league or indoor club for your favorite sport or one that you’d like to get better at.
4. (If it’s not too cold) sneak outside for short spurts as part of your home workout routine.
5. Try a new indoor sport.
Please share your tried and true “healthy hacks” in the comments to help us all feel good about keeping up with workouts this winter!