I woke up to temps in the 20s this morning in the New Orleans area, and all I wanted to do was stay in my warm bed. I know that might be laughable to those of you further North, but the struggle to be active during the winter months is a reality for us all, even the fittest of people.
I’m the queen of hibernation when it’s cold outside. I could stay in my pj’s and slippers all day long, and if I have my Kindle, I’m having a perfect day-:) With this crew, it’s pretty easy to do just that!😀
That’s not going to sustain a healthy and lean body, but maybe a soft and cuddly one;)
If you want to avoid putting on winter padding and keep making progress, take a look at this list I’ve put together. These are things I do that help me stay motivated to exercise during the winter months.
1.) Get a workout plan
I look forward to following plans that I get on bodybuilding.com. As a health coach/personal trainer I’m always providing instruction to others so it’s nice to kick back and not have to think. Here are some of the plans I’ve done that you might want to check out:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shortcut-to-size.html http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/erin-stern-elite-body-4-week-fitness-trainer.html?searchterm=Elite%20Erin beginners: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer.html
2.) Meet with friends
Nothing can lift you out of the doldrums like being around your friends. Spending time with friends is great for boosting oxytocin, aka the love & cuddle hormone, which has an anti-anxiety effect.
We meet up at least once a month and have our own bootcamp class; we sometimes catch a coffee after. As you can tell, we’re not having a problem with the winter blues;)
3.) Try Out Something New
The winter months can be an opportunity to get creative and try some fun activities. You could look into some intramural sports like volleyball, try out salsa or a winter sport. Your gym might offer a variety of group exercise classes. Why not sample them all?
4.) Search for workout inspiration
I subscribe to several fitness channels on YouTube to get new ideas, and I also get good workouts from Fitness Rx. Whatever form of social media you enjoy, follow fitness and nutrition professionals.
I just started incorporating kettlebells into my workouts, and I’m feeling muscles that I’m not used to working. Here’s the link to that workout:
4.) Lug Your Gym Bag to Work
There is nothing that can zap your mojo like leaving work when it’s dark & cold outside. The best remedy is to pack up all your gear, your preworkout snack, drink, & workout clothes, so that you can hit the gym on your route home.
5.) Get outside
It can initially feel like you’re about to jump into a cold pool to open your door to go for a hike or a run, but it’s so invigorating!
- Ease yourself into that transition by doing some jumping jacks, squats and lunges inside to warm up.
- Get the proper gear and clothing to face the cold
6.) Treat Yourself
After a long run or a hike, have some type of treat planned for yourself that you can look forward to like having a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with cinnamon sprinkles. Recently I’ve been rewarding myself to a facial once a month if I’ve done good with my workouts and meals. It’s been the leverage I’ve needed to help me win the mental battle.
7.) Find healthy alternatives
This isn’t so much of a workout tip as it is a tip for keeping it clean in the kitchen. This time of the year we crave those warm, delicious, and carb heavy foods. I’m with you, and this is why I always have healthy swaps available.
- If you are having sweet cravings prepare roasted root vegetables, make your own healthy breads or protein snacks. recipes: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/homemade-chocolate-protein-bars/ https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/pumpkin-pancakes-and-protein-bread/
- Try making spiralized noodles with zucchini instead of traditional pasta. Here’s a perfect comfort food recipe: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/creamy-avocado-paleo-zoodles/comment-page-1/
- Eat nutrient dense and fiber rich foods like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, bananas, whole wheat pastas.
8.) Music makes a difference
Sometimes I enjoy a long quiet run to air out my thoughts, but during the winter I need music to help me power through the cardio.
Jim Stoppani, PhD exercise physiology and bodybuilding.com contributor did a study with the Weider Research Group that showed significant strength gains across all lifts when athletes train to their favorite tunes.
🎧Before you even step foot in the gym, make sure you’ve got headphones in your ears.
I hope some of these ways I’ve found to stay motivated will also help you beat the winter blahs.