Winter has arrived and that means shorter, colder days and less sunlight. The weather change often puts many of us into Netflix and nap mode, but there are plenty of ways to activate your fitness motivation during the winter instead of sending it into hibernation. Here are some of the best ways to keep your workout game strong all winter long.
Look for heat-based workouts
Yes, we know that it’s not fun to go from outdoor yoga on a dock at sunset to yoga in a cold, windowless room, but there are some workouts that take the summery aspects of your favorite workouts. Hot yoga studios offer class options year-round, and heated spin classes have recently become a popular way to beat the winter blues. Make sure to drink a lot of water and know what the class entails before you go – start with a beginner-level class if you’re worried about overheating.
Focus on Destressing and Uplifting Workouts
The winter months can be cold and dark, so it’s a good idea to counter gloom with uplifting and destressing workouts. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects over 3 million people per year, so if you are feeling more down and tired during winter months, you’re not alone. The key to combating the winter blues is to make an effort to do workouts that help relieve stress and are enjoyable, such as Zumba, kickboxing or fun alternative classes such as ballroom dancing.
Sign up for trial period memberships
Sign up for a trial membership at a nearby gym. Though not the same as exercising outside, taking advantage of a gym’s adjustable machines (ellipticals, rowing machines, treadmills, cycles, etc.) can help fill the void – and since you’re signing up for a trial membership, it costs the same as exercising outside. While you have the membership, take advantage of any extra perks the facility offers like heated pools, steam rooms, and hot tubs.
Take advantage of the sunlight
It’s easy to stay in bed when it’s dark outside, so time your workouts with that precious, precious daylight to stay motivated. Let as much sunlight into your home as you can so you wake up and are energized naturally and efficiently. If you don’t have access to a lot of natural light, look into purchasing a daylight lamp for your bedroom or even consider taking Vitamin D supplements so that you get the energy boost of sunlight even when it’s gloomy.
Assemble a team
Remember playing on an intramural sports team in college? Get the gang back together and sign up for a team indoor sport. Many sports that are associated with warmer weather can be played indoors! Many organizations have winter leagues, and some even offer non-traditional sports as a way to embrace your inner kid. What better way to hang out with your squad than over some competitive kickball and celebratory smoothies afterward?
We know many people are not fans of winter or bearing the freezing cold temperatures, but if you want to run, bike, or walk outside, a few layers will be necessary. Just remember to wear workout-friendly fabrics and layers. There’s actually scientific studies that show the benefits of exercising outside in winter, but don’t be pressured to do so if you don’t want to. The trick to staying motivated to exercise throughout colder months is to be excited about what you’re doing, so just make you you’re prepared for the routine you want to undergo.
Those cute new running shoes? You can probably get them at a discounted price because you’re buying them in the off-season. Use your shopping savvy to score some new workout clothes that you’ll be excited to wear in winter.