10 Dead-of-Winter Workout Motivators

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10 Dead-of-Winter Workout Motivators

Written by Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainer

Lower temperatures and darker days can wreak havoc on your workout motivation--if you let them. Stay on track all season long with these cold-weather motivators that really work!

Sleep in Your Workout Clothes

If you're a morning exerciser, it's usually cold outside (and inside your house!) when you wake up. The thought of getting out of bed and stripping out of your PJs to change into your workout clothes isn't exactly appealing. Save the step and prevent the chill by going to bed in your workout attire. You'll be dressed for your workout and toasty warm, making it easier to start your workout.

Go Straight to the Gym

If you're an evening exerciser, bring your gym bag to work and head straight to the gym instead of going home or running any errands beforehand. Errands can always taken longer than expected, making you late for Spinning class, just as going home can diminish your motivation to leave the comforts of your couch.

Enjoy the Great Indoors

If exercising outside in the cold and slush just isn't your thing, don't force it. Whether you pop in a new workout DVD, invest in some small fitness equipment or even just use your body weight, exercising at home can be a convenient way to stay on track. And the best part about working out from your own home? No winter commute!

Pump Up the Music

Nothing motivates like music. Create a new playlist of upbeat workout songs and include your favorite motivational songs. When your winter workouts aren't calling your name, put on your playlist to find your inspiration and energy to get going, and then keep listening to boost your energy until it's time to cool down.

Get in Gear

When you layer properly for winter activities, cold, rain, sleet and even snow are never an issue. There truly is workout attire for every weather scenario. And when you invest in your health and fitness by buying some new duds, you'll not only benefit from instant motivation to try it all out, but the "it's too cold" exercise excuse will be a thing of the past.

Exercise During Your Lunch Break

High temperatures and maximum sunshine usually occur midday, so use your lunch break to squeeze in a walk or other office-friendly exercise. Plus, when you use your lunch break to work out, you won't have time to be tempted by fast food or other high-calorie restaurant fare; simply pack a healthful lunch to bring with you. It's a win-win!

Set Your Sights on Spring and Summer

Train for a spring 5K or a summer half marathon. By signing up for a race that requires you to stay fit and active all winter long, you won't be able to skip your training workouts and still reach your goal. Each time that early morning alarm rings or your Saturday afternoon training group meets, you'll be there because you'll want to reach your big goal. If races aren't your thing, set a specific weight loss goal or set your sights on a special trip (swimsuits, anyone?) that you'll want to look and feel your best for.

Take Up a Winter Sport

If you're a competitive type, why not try a new winter sport? From skiing to snowshoeing, there are many great options that burn mega calories and put a whole new twist on your cold-weather workout plans.

Join an Indoor Sports League

It's always warm indoors! Whether you want to try your foot at soccer or relive your former basketball glory, there is a local adult sports league for all sports, ability levels, ages and genders. Plus, practicing and playing a sport is a great way to change up your workout routine so you keep getting results and staying interested.

Make a Fitness Date

Lacking motivation to run outside? Enlist the help of a friend. When you set up an appointment with someone else, you're much less likely to find excuses or show up late. Call a friend and set up a regular workout date at home (try a DVD together), at the park for a jog, or at the gym for that boot camp class you've wanted to try. Fitness buddies unite!

Just Get Out the Door

It's the initial shock of the cold that we think of as unbearable in the winter, but when you get past the doorway, you've won half the battle. Once outside, you have no choice but to get moving to build up body heat. When you're not feeling motivated to work out, fake it. Get dressed, put on your shoes, and get outside. Nine times out of ten, you'll just keep right on going!

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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12/27/2016 8:34:06 PM

NANCYJG's SparkPage
Videos in the front room -- then instead of having to go for a walk in the snow, you only walk to the front room!!


12/27/2016 3:28:48 PM

CATLADY1955's SparkPage
I like the stay indoors. I have trouble doing much in the dark outside before work. Lots of exercise videos and tools.


12/27/2016 12:35:14 PM

Good ideas to get revved up for working out weather conditions are not ideal.


12/11/2016 7:56:05 PM

Hoping you are all having a fantastic weekend .... now that Monday is so close by. Living in Southern CA I fondly recall the reasons to stay motivated in the winter. Among other things, you stay warmer when your body is "high" from exercise! You really really do. My favorite winter sports were X-C skiing and snowshoeing. Downhill skiing is fun but at my level not as effective ;0). Training for a spring marathon (Boston?) is also an option as is a stationary adapter for your regular bike. No reason to let a little thing like a snowstorm derail you for that Century ride. Yeah, I used to do all that stuff in another life. Most equipment has now been recycled. I'll look forward to the suggestions for when it is too ht and too bright to be outside. Some of you would love this problem. I did better suiting up for the cold.


12/11/2016 5:47:00 PM

Just read yesterday when it's icy outside and sleeting that's not the time to go out and exercise. Apparently the person who put together this listing didn't read the other article. I agree, nothing short of kleets and a flame thrower in front of you can stop you from slipping and falling on ice. Not a good time for a walk.


12/11/2016 7:11:45 AM

SOOKIE's SparkPage
Sleeping in workout clothes is a no-no. It would be uncomfortable; but great article overall.


7/10/2016 3:42:17 PM

I love "working past my psychology." I will have to try that with housework!


1/18/2016 11:43:32 PM

ABBY1515's SparkPage
I did horrible today...I cheated ate a snickers n KitKat and pop.....I'm so mad at myself.


1/18/2016 11:11:25 PM

LULABEL1's SparkPage
Could someone tell me what the BMR is please.


1/18/2016 6:03:19 PM

NEXTSTEP2014's SparkPage
Who wants to sleep in a sports bra?


1/18/2016 5:43:07 PM

10 degrees this morning so waited for the sun to come up :)


1/18/2016 3:28:55 PM

Work out safely to be safe.


1/18/2016 1:42:58 PM

I'm mostly doing exercise videos indoors at home during the cold and rainy weather. In addition, my daughter and I signed up for a weekly yoga class for the winter. Right now I'm sick with a cold and slight fever so I'm only doing an easy 30 minutes of yoga per day until I feel better.


1/18/2016 10:06:52 AM

GRAMB4's SparkPage
We invested in a smart tv and Fitbit this year and enjoying a multitude of exercise videos on YouTube. This former sedentary grandma is motivated to move. 12° here and very snowy so inside workout is just fine with me until it warms up.


1/18/2016 7:51:56 AM

NORASPAT's SparkPage
With ice and snow it makes sense to be inside. Be SAFE !!

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