Staying motivated to exercise in winter

Do you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise in the cold winter months? You're not alone…

It can be difficult to stay active in winter when it’s dark when you get up and dark by the time you get home. However, physical activity is a crucial component of sustained weight loss and overall well being so it’s important to keep motivated through the winter months. From the right clothing and socialising to signing up to challenges and tracking your progress, you can continue to enjoy working out as the days continue to get colder and shorter.

Try following my top tips to help you stay active in the run up to Christmas and into the new year!

  • Don’t hit snooze! When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be easy to hit the snooze button. Why not leave your phone on the other side of the room. That way you have to get out of bed to switch it off. Once you’re already out of bed, you’re far more likely to do some physical activity before the day begins.
  • Get organised – Being organised and prepared makes it much more likely that you feel that you have the time to be active. Try setting your gym clothes out the night before, packing a snack in your bag for a mid-afternoon energy boost or creating the ultimate motivational playlist. These are all little steps to help make staying active easier.
  • Keep warm! Base layers, gloves, headbands and hats are all useful for extra warmth if you’re exercising outside. If you are going to and from a place for exercise, wrap up in a coat or jacket so as not to get chilly while travelling. Visibility is also something worth paying attention to if you are exercising outside in the dark to help yous tay safe. And make sure that you warm up and cool down to warm up your muscles and help avoid injury.
  • Variety is the spice of life – vary the exercise you do – find a friend or listen to a podcast and walk outside on a bright day and find an exercise class for a dark evening. You’re more likely to stick to your routine if you mix it up.
  • Stay home! If you really can’t face going out in the dark and cold, then find an online class and do it in the warmth of your own home.
  • Sign up to a challenge – whether it be a couch to 5k or a swim challenge in your local pool, having a goal can give motivation and structure to an exercise routine.
  • Make it social – some people love exercising on their own, but for others, it is helpful to have company. Buddy up with a friend or get involved with a local group or class. It’s easier to show up if you’ve promised a friend you’ll be there!
  • Don’t forget to rest – don’t overdo it and make sure you treat yourself too – a hot drink or a warm bath to soothe your cold bones once you’re done is a great incentive to get out there and do it!
  • Finally, enjoy whatever movement you decide to do and feel proud every time you show up for yourself.

For more insight about intentional movement, the benefits of getting outside in all weathers and creating lasting habits, visit the resources section of my website.

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