Tips for Staying Active and Motivated This Winter

Winter is the ideal time of the year to focus on your fitness and nutrition routine. Yet, it can be the time of year when we just start to get plain lazy. Need a boost of motivation this winter to stay active? Read on for some practical tips.

Why does winter make it harder to keep your healthy habits?

Jumping out of bed early for a workout is much harder when you already know that your house is chilly. It’s easy to slack off and come up with a million excuses for not getting yourself to the gym or to the grocery store to restock your healthy snacks. This is especially true if there’s snow in the forecast. Generally, we all lose a little of our active attitude when the winter months roll in.

Here are some ways to throw back those winter covers and get that heart rate up even though it’s cold outside. You’ll be glad you did.

Stay motivated to eat healthy this winter.
Keep that winter body filled with nutrient dense food.

Nourish your body.

Whether you’re a training athlete or a casual exerciser, feeding your body is the wise way to keep it performing well. With all the comfort food temptations in the colder seasons, maintaining a balanced healthy diet of seasonal and available whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy grains is key.

Availability of some fresh produce may be tough in the winter, don’t forget about the frozen section!

Stay Hydrated

Hydrating your body is always important, especially in the cold. When its cold, it’s easier to forget that you are thirsty. However, your body is working hard to keep you warm. Additionally, wearing all those layers may be causing you to sweat more than you realize. So, keep that water bottle close. Keeping your fluids at room temperature or warmer will help your body absorb them better too.

Schedule your fitness.

Try scheduling or booking your workouts each week. That way, you’ll already have blocks of time allocated for staying active. You won’t be able to use the excuse of not having enough time, because you’ve already made time in your schedule for working out. 

Also, following a schedule each week makes it easier to stay disciplined and consistent with your workouts! It’s all about keeping those healthy habits hardwired into your routine.

If you’re going outside, stay warm.

There many benefits to getting a workout in outside, even in the winter, such as sunshine, fresh air, and a boosted sense of well-being. Be sure to warm up indoors before an outdoor workout to get the blood flowing to your muscles. Cold and stiff muscles are more prone to injury. Consider jumping jacks, jogging on the treadmill, or cycling.

Stay Active in the Winter with Outdoor Exercise
There are benefits to getting outside for exercise year round.

Incorporate household items into a workout.

Exercising doesn’t necessarily need to involve machines or weights at the gym. Try setting up a home gym, walking up and down stairs, or anything else that can get you moving around your home. 

There are plenty of high intensity, strength building exercise moves that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Walk and talk.

Want to be social with friends and family? Instead of a traditional get together for a drink and a meal in, why not meet for a walk and talk, followed by a coffee, a drink and/or a meal? You work up an appetite, burn off some calories and feel all the better for the outdoor activity.

Runners, Silhouettes, Athletes, Fitness, Men, Healthy

Don’t make excuses.

No matter your mode of exercise, make yourself accountable. Set goals and establish a fitness schedule. Find a workout buddy or sign up for a local (or online) fitness challenge. Fitness tools like apps and trackers can help you monitor your training. 

Try something new.

Maybe you have your go to snow sports, or you’ve never really gotten into them before. Trying new sports and engaging in activities you haven’t tried before can help summon up some excitement. Experiment with snow activities you’ve never done, such as snow shoeing, fat tire biking, skiing, or snowboarding.

If you just don’t want to be outside when it’s cold, then try something new inside. Finally learn to do that difficult yoga pose or sign up for that new dance class. The excitement and adrenaline of a new activity can motivate you greatly.

Related read: The Gift of Wellness: My Holiday Wish List

Calm your carb cravings.

The cold season tends to ignite our cravings for more sugar, carbs and comfort foods. After you consume delicious treats, your serotonin levels rise, making your brain happy for a short time. To counter these cravings, try eating a healthy fats and/or protein-packed breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Also, keep healthy snacks close by such as fruit, vegetables, and nuts.

Remember, no one is perfect. If you want to imbibe in a favorite treat or dish, make sure to take the time to really enjoy it to fully satiate your craving.

Seasonal depression can be combated with a good health routine.
Seasonal depression can be combated with a good health routine.

Winter is the time to pay close attention to your health.

It is very important to take your health seriously during these cold winter months. Winter can increase the incidence of depression and other disorders in many people. 

Pay close attention to your state of mind in the darker and colder months. If you start getting into a funk, don’t brush it off as a simple case of the winter blues. Seasonal affective disorders are serious business, and you should be extra mindful of your mood.

Having a bulletproof plan can help those seasonal blues.

While each person handles winter differently, following a few of the guidelines above can make a big difference. Additionally, being aware and reflecting on the way you relate to and react to the darker days of winter will help you form a plan of attack and make this the best winter you’ve weathered yet. 

What are you waiting for? This winter could be your best one yet.

Just because the temperatures are dropping does not mean you need to hibernate! Experts recommend that you exercise for at least thirty minutes, five days a week. However, even five or ten minutes of movement a day can help with weight loss, improving your mood, and increase your heart health. So, grab a partner and get moving!

How do you stay motivated at this time of year? Tell me in the comments.

Similar Posts