As the days grow shorter and the weather gets chillier, it’s a lot harder to find ways to stay active and maintain the fitness level you worked hard to build during the warmer parts of the year. Fortunately, even though the barriers seem to be many, it’s possible to not only keep up a consistent fitness regimen during the winter but to smash some of your fitness goals in the process, too.
Read on for tips to help you stay active and healthy during the cold season.
If you prefer to run, walk or bike outside for exercise, this tip is for you. You can keep up your pre-workout routine of consuming hydrating foods, stretching and gearing up with the right attire–you just need to make a few cold-weather adjustments. Make sure you have a few base layers, a good pair of gloves, a fitness headband or hat and warm socks and shoes to keep you nice and toasty while you work up a sweat. Just be sure to use moisture-wicking materials during your workout.
Switch Up Your Routine
When it’s already a little harder to get out and get moving, it’s even more important to engage in exercises that you look forward to rather than dread. Ditch boring and repetitive workouts in favor of variety and fun. You can still work the same muscle groups and get cardio benefits if you just try a few new things during the week. The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more likely you are to lace up your sneakers and get your heart rate up on a regular basis.
Invite a Friend
Studies have shown that those who work out with a partner, friend or group are more likely to stick to a program because they feel more accountable. Ask a buddy to talk a walk with you, join a fitness challenge or get a new gym membership. You can also get involved in a local group or class with like-minded individuals with similar fitness goals, and you may even find that you’re less likely to want to ditch the program when you feel like others are counting on you to show up.
Queue a Video
Thanks to online fitness programs, a world of workouts is at your fingertips. Whether you’d like to complete an at-home kickboxing class or want to unwind at the end of the day with a soothing yoga practice, there’s a video for you. Workout videos are available for free on many streaming platforms, or you can sign up for a paid website for access to hundreds of trainer-led videos to help you get your blood pumping from the comfort of your own home.
Download an App
Those who keep track of their fitness progress are a lot more likely to stick with a training program. While many of the benefits of regular exercise are physical, those that aren’t as visually apparent are just as worth celebrating, such as consistently showing up to work out a certain number of days in a row, drinking the right amount of water during the day, sticking to a macro-focused diet for 30 days straight or lifting a little heavier than you were last month. Download a fitness tracker so you can not only see how far you’ve come, but make goals to get to the next level, too.
Upgrade Your Membership
A gym membership isn’t for everyone, but if you have one, you may want to consider adding on some of the extra amenities during the winter months. Many gyms have the option to upgrade their basic membership so you can work out at their other facilities, access their sauna or spa services, utilize a personal trainer or enroll in their fitness classes at no additional cost. The extra benefits of your membership could even motivate you to make it to the gym more often, which could help you reach your fitness goals long before the snow melts.