During the winter months it can be hard to motivate yourself to do a workout or to even get out for a walk. With the colder days and darker evenings it can be tempting to stay inside by the fire. While it may be hard to do, staying fit during the winter months will have enormous benefits for your health.
We have put together a number of our favourite tips to stay motivated and how to work out this winter.
How to stay motived this winter?
When it comes to working out this winter, keeping yourself motivated to get moving can be one of the biggest challenges. Why not try our three tried and tested methods for keeping motivation this winter. Your body will thank you for it!
Book a class or arrange to work out with a friend
When exercising on your own it can be hard to find the motivation to get to the gym. During the winter months it can be helpful to have some company. Arranging to work out with a friend can be the motivation you need to get to the gym this winter as you will be less likely to cancel on a friend for the gym. This could even be meeting a friend for a walk around your local park or town.
Booking a gym class is another way to keep motivated. Booking a class will motivate you to go as it is booked for a set time and you will be working out with others who are also wanting to stay fit this winter. Booking a gym class will have the added benefit of a social element too.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals can help to keep you to stay motivated this winter. Having a goal that you are working towards will help to keep you moving and you will be less likely to slack off. These goals could be simply lifting the next weight class, running a 5k, running a half, full marathon or something you have always wanted to do.
This goal could even simply be to make it to the gym a number of times a week. Whatever the goal is make sure you set one that you want to achieve and it is reachable for you. Goals which are not within reach are harder to achieve and can often become demotivating.
Try Something New
A great way to stay motivated can be to mix it up and try something new. Having variety of workouts in your exercise routine is key to staying motivated, that way your workouts don’t become boring and you don’t get tired of doing the same routine over and over.
Studies have shown that having variety in your workout routine means that you are less likely to quit exercising. So why not book into a class, go for a swim, go for a Sunday hike or even just take the dog out for a walk. Adding new ways of working out into your routine will increase the enjoyment you get from working out, which in turn will help keep you working out all winter.
How to work out outdoors in the winter?
Exercising outdoors has a number of benefits for your body and mind, no matter if it is summer or winter. Exercising outdoors during these winter months can even help to keep the winter blues at bay, help you stay fit, allow you to take a break from screens and give you an energy boost.
Your winter workout can ensure that you are getting out in some sunlight during the day. As we have less day light during the winter months, getting out in the sunlight during the day can help to boost your mood during these darker days.
Ways to work out this winter include going out for a brisk walk, jogging, taking the dog for walk, hiking or even ice skating if there is a rink near you. When working out in the winter there are a number of things you need to keep in mind to stay safe when you are out in the colder weather.
Working out outdoors in the winter tips
Layer up & dress dry
When working out this winter it is important that not only will you stay warm but also dry. When you get wet, your body will lose heat fast. This is because water is such a good heat conductor, it will take the heat away from your body to the water.
If you are working out outdoors this winter be sure to avoid wearing materials that will soak up your sweat and rain such as cotton. Synthetic materials are better as they will not hold as much moisture as cotton and will remove the sweat twice as fast. This will ensure that your body is not too cold during the workout.
Layering up is essential to avoid becoming too cold when working out outdoors. You should think of your workout outfit as having three layers to it, the base, middle and outer layer. For your base layer (which is closest to your skin) this should be a thin layer made from syntenic materials to remove as much moisture away from your body. The middle layer should be a fleece or some additional layer that will add extra warmth when outside. Finally, the outer layer should consist of a jacket or windbreaker which will help to protect you from the cold, wind, rain or snow.
Working out in the winter can leave you skin feeling dry, tight and you may even experience some sunburn (yes, you can get sunburnt in the winter!).
To avoid getting sunburnt when working out during the winter months it is crucial that you are wearing an SPF with protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Along with wearing an SPF on your face, a lip balm with SPF will provide complete protection to your face.
Drinking plenty of fluids during the winter months is just as important as hydrating in the warmer weather. When working out outdoors in the winter you may not feel as thirsty as you would in the warmer months, but be sure to keep hydration levels up.
Drinking a sports drink or water before, during and after your workout will keep you hydrated.
Protect your head, hands, feet and ears
When it is cold your hands, head and feet more susceptible to frostbite. That is why it is essential to ensure that you keep your head, hands and feet warm when you are out this winter. Once your hands and feet are cold, it will be harder to warm the rest of your body.
For working out outdoor this winter be sure to have shoes which are water wicking and will not let as much water in. Along with these water wicking shoes you will need to ensure that you have warm socks. Socks which are a blend of wool and synthetic materials will be the optimal choice as the wool will keep you warm and the synthetic materials will remove any moisture in your shoes.
Depending on the temperatures where you are cotton or nylon gloves will be ideal for working out outdoors. If where you live rains a lot, be sure to get waterproof gloves to avoid getting your hands wet.
Don’t forget your hat or a headband to keep your head and ears warm. If it’s very cold, you should think about wearing a scarf or a running mask to ensure that you are protected from the cold elements.