As winter steadily approaches, is your workout motivation dwindling? Preparation is the key to enjoying exercise, even in our coldest months. Follow our six tips to get enthused about staying active this winter.
1) Wear the Right Gear
Think layers—they will help you retain heat and offer insulation from adverse weather conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia. The wind is a powerful element that can dampen your workout. Another factor that can blow you off course? Wet splashes of rain and snow. When layering, choose your pieces strategically. For your first layer, choose a moisture-wicking fabric like high-performance sportswear, then follow with an insulating layer of fleece. For your outermost layer, pick a thin and waterproof jacket.
2) Nourish Your Body
Whether you’re a highly trained athlete or a casual runner, feeding your body is the best way to keep it performing well. With all the comfort food temptations in the colder seasons, maintaining a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, protein, and healthy grains will help keep you fit. Hydrating your body is also very important, even in cold weather.
3) Know Your Body
Set high goals for yourself, but listen to and understand your body. Hypothermia can be a serious concern in the cold temperatures and affects far too many individuals each year. Symptoms include lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, slurred speech, cold hands and feet, shivering, and sleepiness. If you start feeling these symptoms, head indoors. Add more layers, replace wet clothes with dry ones, and eat some carbs, proteins, or fats.
4) Don’t Make ExcusesNo matter your mode of exercise, make yourself accountable. Set goals and establish a fitness schedule. Fitness tools like apps and trackers can help you monitor your training. Make a pact with a friend to work out together. It’s much harder to hit the snooze button if you have a friend relying on your support.
5) Try Something New
Trying new sports and engaging in activities you haven’t tried before can help summon up some excitement. Experiment with snowboarding. Do your regular outdoor exercises in a snowsuit. Incorporate weight lifting into your running routines. Cross train if you are in the off-season of your sport. Finally learn to do that difficult yoga pose, diving move, or sign up for that new dance class. The excitement and adrenaline of a new activity can motivate you greatly.
6) Prepare YourselfIn addition to nourishing yourself and setting goals, make a habit of preparing for your workouts. Set an alarm. Have your clothes picked out and set aside. Prepare a pre-workout snack (you can find some good ones here), and fill your water bottle. Have your playlist or podcast ready to go. Preparation will help you go the distance.
It might be getting colder outside, but that’s no excuse to slack on your workout! Stay motivated, get outdoors, and get moving!