Wintertime can pose a huge strain on workout motivation. There are only 4 hours of daylight, and when the sun does come out, it’s still too damn cold to go outside and the bed is sooooo warm and cozy!
The problem with giving in to winter weariness is that all the hard work you’ve done the other 3 seasons of the year will go to waste. Here are 10 struggles of working out in the winter and our best advice to overcome them.
1. It’s still dark when you wake up.
Getting out of bed when it’s still dark outside sucks. The warm-weather motivation of sunlight streaming through your bedroom window just isn’t there. Get yourself an alarm clock that simulates the sunrise and you will wake up with more energy and motivation. It just might be enough to help you tackle the morning workout.
2. It’s dark after work.
When the sun sets at 5 pm it’s hard not to want to crawl in bed before prime time television comes on. Once your butt hits the couch you are down for the count, so don’t go home until you get your work out in. Join a local gym or sign up for classes with a friend. The bright lights and warm smiles will help you get through it.
3. It’s a Winter Wonderland! (Until you slip on the ice and fall on your ass)
There’s something invigorating about the feeling of crisp cold air in your lungs and the sight of a clean blanket of snow covering the ground during a wintertime workout. It’s slightly less invigorating to slip on the ice in front of the hottie down the road. Maybe you should just stay indoors until Spring…
No! You can still exercise safely outdoors if you take the right precautions. Wear proper clothing to prevent freezing and heavily treaded shoes to prevent falling. The fresh air and sunshine will do your body good.
4. Comfort food keeps you warm.
The thought of staying in and eating an entire box of mac ‘n’ cheese does sound tempting, but don’t let the warmth of comfort food bring your fitness train to a screeching halt. You have permission to carb-load only if you plan to run it off. So eat your pasta then get on that treadmill.
5. Swim suits are out of sight and out of mind.
It will be months before you have to show any skin so why work out now? You work out now so that when you put your swimsuit on for the first time next spring you don’t collapse in a puddle of tears and regret. Save yourself the tears and keep up the program.
6. Date night consists of “Netflix and chill”…sweats are appropriate attire.
Let’s face it, you won’t be putting on a little black dress anytime soon, so a workout can wait. Then you get to the “chill” part of “Netflix and chill” and realize you should have been working out all winter. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
7. It takes longer to get dressed for outdoor exercise than the time spent actually exercising outdoors.
It’s a fact of life: if you want to avoid frostbite during your winter workouts, you need to layer properly. It may seem like a task too daunting and lure you into staying snuggled indoors but clothing technology has come a long way. You can stay warm and still look cool.
8. There’s just no spontaneity anymore.
In the summer, you can do pretty much whatever comes to mind to get a work out in. You can run, swim, hike or bike with little to no planning. Wintertime exercise takes a bit more planning. If you’re going running outside, you have to have the right cold weather gear. If you’re going to the gym after work, you have to remember your gym clothes. Lack of spontaneity might take some of the fun out of it but a good plan will help keep you on track.
9. Your work out buddy bails on you.
If you think keeping yourself motivated to work out is difficult, try motivating someone else! Having a work out buddy can help you stay accountable, unless that buddy is constantly succumbing to the call of the couch. To avoid getting sucked into the laziness, gather a group of workout buddies, so when one drops out, you’ll still have another one to keep you going.
10. There’s an all-day marathon of your favorite show.
I understand completely. Binge-watching the Food Network or Harry Potter on ABC Family for a whole weekend is a little slice of heaven. If you’re really not going to leave your house, push the furniture back and do a body weight routine right there in the living room.
The struggle is real but it can be overcome. Just remember, warm weather will return and those pounds you put on hibernating in winter won’t just melt off in the sun. Keep your fitness on track this winter – you’ll be happy you did in the spring.