5 Tips to Staying Active Through the Winter
The weather’s cooler, the days are shorter, and just about every store is in full holiday mode! This is one of my most favorite times of the year, yet it’s the time where most people struggle to maintain their fitness and healthy eating goals. It’s a little harder to roll out of a warm, cozy bed in the mornings for a workout. It’s also more tempting to indulge in those delicious holiday treats. Here are five practical tips of staying fit during the winter so you will not fall into the trap of holiday weight gain.
First thing’s first, schedule your workouts! Did you know that you are more likely to complete a workout when it is written down or scheduled on a calendar? Make a habit of planning out your entire workout on a weekly basis. Write down every portion of the workout from the warm up to the cool down. This gives you very little to think about when you actually begin the regimen. Having a schedule will keep you focused on days when it is hard finding the motivation to stay active during winter.
If you enjoy studio workouts, go ahead and put yourself on the schedule for the week. Most studios will email a reminder of your upcoming class the night before to ensure that you make it. A lot of studios even charge a fee for last minute cancellations for extra motivation. And let’s keep it real, would you rather pay $20 for a cancelled workout or a cocktail? Just sayin...
Second, challenge yourself! The best way to stay active during the holiday season is to sign up for a winter fitness challenge. In my area, there are several winter themed runs to sign up for. We have turkey runs, jingle bell runs, and even hot chocolate runs. If long distance running isn’t your thing, find a training competition in your area and train to win it!
Again, if studio workouts are your thing (i.e. Pilates Reformer, Barre, Orange Theory) they always host challenges during the holidays to keep attendance up. This is the time to unleash that undercover competitor that lives in us all! Even if you don’t win your studio’s challenge, it’s still a personal win. So let’s get it ladies!
Another trick to keep on interesting is to switch up your workout! Winter is the perfect time to change up your workout regimen. Have you always wanted to try a Barre class? Or maybe you wanted to give CrossFit a stab. Winter is a slow time for many fitness studios, and they are more likely to offer deep discounts during this time to boost attendance. (side note: Expect prices to increase right after Christmas too as studios are getting ready for the New Year Resolution drive.) So, as my dad would say, get in while the getting is good.
One of the most important things to remember is to track your meals! Holiday food is something I look forward to each year. There’s nothing like reconnecting with friends and family over delicious meals. You know how we like to “try a little sample” of everything, thinking it won’t hurt. The advantage to keeping note of everything you have eaten is that it keeps your “samples” from turning into an all you can eat buffet! Stay vigilant about your calorie intake by tracking your meals with various smartphone apps or a traditional journal. You are less likely to overindulge when you are recording everything you eat. If you are attending a party where you know the food will be high in calories, offer to bring a healthy winter recipe in order to stay on track.
Last but definitely not least, elevate your activewear! There’s nothing that motivates me more in the winter than new clothes. That includes new workout clothes. It gives me a new sense of confidence that carries me through my winter fitness routine. Many people have the misconception that you don’t need to look good during your workout, and you don’t! But, why not? Prime Time said it best, when you look good, you feel good...when you feel good you play good...when you play good they pay good! I can say from personal experience that a little confidence boost in preparation for a workout definitely pays off. You can pair a cropped hoodie with high waist leggings during the cooler months and be good to go! Then you can head to lunch with your girls, or run errands, looking sporty and cute :)
I hope these winter exercise ideas were helpful. Let’s not let the cold weather deter us from achieving our fitness goals? What are some things that keep you motivated during the winter? I’d love to hear.