Swimsuit season is long gone, but that's no reason to let your workout routine go into hibernation. After all, staying active and fit is a science-approved way to fight off winter doldrums. But what if you just don’t feel like it because it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s wet, and you don’t have the energy? Here are some strategies to make it your workout happen—even in the winter.
There are two types of goals: Goals that are based on an outcome and goals that are based on changing specific behaviors. Both types are important, but in the winter, people are more likely to succeed if they set the second type of goal, which gives them real control and very clear guidance. Will you log a certain number of miles each week? Will you work out 25 times before the first day of spring? Whatever your action-focused goal is, it will keep you in the zone throughout the winter.
Take Advantage of Indoor Workout
Dark and cold, winter is the perfect time to stay inside and focus on resistance training. You’ll build muscle to boost your metabolism and give you that lean, toned look you won’t get from running outdoors. So dust off your kettlebells, dumbbells, and resistance bands or revisit that gym you joined six months ago.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Having someone keep you accountable for the workouts you do (and don’t) complete makes a big difference in your overall fitness level. Seal the commitment by arranging to work out with a friend or a fitness coach. A trainer will also be able to design an individualized program for you, help you strengthen your weaknesses, and give you skills to apply to your exercise routine year-round.
Set a Schedule
Protect your workout by setting a definite time and place for your workout, then scheduling all of your other activities around it. Keeping your workout time consistent from day to day (are you a morning or an evening exerciser?) will also help you get in the habit. If you don’t schedule your workout, something will always “come up” and derail it—and your fitness.