Winter is very nearly upon us, and the dark cold nights are drawing in. Long gone are the days when you could get out in the sun, do some exercise then enjoy a summery salad on the patio. No people, it is now the colder half of the year – we want to snuggle up under duvets, using our leg hair for extra warmth, eating a mince pie, or three. Getting out and doing some exercise is often the last thing on our agenda at this time of year, but with the food and alcohol of Christmas on the horizon, it’s probably the time when our bodies will thank us the most. So here are 5 ways you can stay motivated to keep fit during winter:
1. Find a Workout Buddy
Most of the time I prefer to exercise alone, but when motivation is at an all time low it never hurts to have a pal to drag you out of the house. When deciding to exercise with a buddy however, make sure they’ll be reliable – you don’t want someone who will bail on you at the last minute, because there is no doubt you will use this as the perfect excuse not to go yourself.
2. Get Some New Gear
Sometimes there is just no denying it; new stuff makes the world a brighter place. Put some new trainers on your Christmas list, or treat yourself to some winter running gear so you have no excuse. If you workout in the morning, put your snazzy new kit in view of your bed to make yourself get up. Similarly, it might help to update your workout playlist – who says you can’t run to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’?!
3. Have Something to Aim Towards
Often in winter it can seem like there is little reason to exercise – you’re going to be eating loads of crap anyway, and you haven’t got hundreds of magazines screaming about bikini bods at you. Now is a perfect time to set yourself something to work towards, like a running event next year. If possible, literally sign up for something so that you have a tangible reason to keep working.
4. Plan Ahead
Unlike the summer, winter is not the season of spontaneous runs or trips to the gym. Instead of saying ‘I want to work out at least twice this week’, specify to yourself exactly when those two workouts will be, and they’ll be much more likely to happen. Don’t leave it until the day to decide whether you ‘feel like it’, because quite frankly, you won’t. No one feels like working out when it’s cold, wet and dark, but if you’ve planned it in to your mental calender, it will seem like less of an option.
5. Pay in Advance
The fact that running is free is a great and beautiful thing, however sometimes we need a more practical reason to work out rather than just ‘it will do me good’. This is when gym memberships, pre-paid fitness classes or a swimming pool pass can actually be your friend. Your yearly gym membership does not get any cheaper through the winter, so don’t waste your cash by slacking for half the year. Don’t be one of those people who work-out only before a summer holiday or as a new years resolution – make the most of your money and try to keep it steady all year round.