Winter is coming, folks. As summer winds down to a close, and we ready ourselves for the cool and crisp days of autumn, it’s best to remember that fall will be gone in a flash. Then, suddenly, it’s dark out all the time, and it’s increasingly more difficult to summon the willpower to get outside and exercise, and not succumb to another Netflix binge-athon. Well, here’s the deal: it’s a whole lot easier to set those motivational gears in motion when we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves and new workout gear at the ready.
Bring your workout inside
Sometimes staying motivated in the face of literal darkness is as simple as bringing your workout inside under warm artificial lighting. Winter brings days where it’s genuinely too cold to consider going outside for a run. The last thing anyone wants to do is to feel the additional discomfort of cold weather while they’re already feeling uncomfortable from physical exertion. So, the at-home workout can pull through in a clutch. There are numerous apps that provide varied workouts that will have you working up a sweat in no time. And you won’t have to worry about any kind of commute!
Get to bed early
We appreciate how tough this one’s going to be for the night owls of the world, but getting to bed early can help you get up a little bit earlier in the morning to squeeze in a workout or some extra physical activity. Even a quick morning walk can help you feel better and set you up for a more positive day. Even if the dark days of winter make it more difficult for you to feel like exerting yourself for a high-intensity workout, maintaining a consistent, moderate-intensity exercise routine can pay off in all-areas of life.
Upgrade your workout wardrobe
Sometimes getting your willpower to the place it needs to be to tackle a grueling workout is as simple as picking up a new pair of running shoes, or a fun vanishing bra. There’s no denying that it’s fun to get outside for a workout, and if you feel confident in the clothes you’re wearing, you’ll want other people to see you in action. You don’t only need to spend your money on boring things like work clothes. You can also invest in clothing and gear for exercise that gets you excited about hitting the road for a run or the gym for some weights.
Embrace the gym buddy system
It’s normal to be your own worst enemy when it comes to workout motivation—it’s just so much easier to eat snacks and sit on the couch than to lace up those running shoes—so you may find yourself caving to the devil on your shoulder, telling you it’s OK not to hit the gym. It’s hard to keep yourself accountable! So, the best course of action for anyone struggling with this is to seek out a friend that’s equally invested in their personal health. If you know someone’s waiting for you at the gym every morning, you’re less likely to keep hitting the snooze button on your alarm.
Schedule those workouts, and stick to them!
An easy way to encourage personal accountability is to fill your calendar up with the workouts you know you want to complete. There’s something about seeing your schedule in writing that makes it that much harder to bail on. Set reminders and treat your workout schedule like any other non-negotiable meeting. Just because, technically, you could bail, if you wouldn’t cancel a meeting with your boss or an important doctor’s appointment, you shouldn’t cancel your scheduled workouts, either.
As winter rolls into view it’s helpful to take note of tips and tricks for staying motivated to keep fit during the notoriously grueling season. But it doesn’t have to stop there. You should be taking care of your whole health during this season notorious for colds and flu, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and depression. Sometimes you need the extra boost from a doctor or mental health professional. If that’s the case, just bank on your health insurance. And of course, remember, this season will pass, and those sweet summertime days of sun-drenched bliss will return!