By: Kristin Bugden
PSA: Cold weather is here to stay. And when it comes to shorter, darker days, exercising is top of the list for things that fall to the wayside with the change. So, in an effort to not blow off the gym for months on end (oops!), we synced up with some seasoned fitness experts for tips on how to maintain day-to-day fitness motivation during the winter months.
If you’re in need of a nudge to get to the gym (or just to leave your bed!), keep scrolling. You'll thank us later.
There’s no doubt that the struggle is real when your alarm goes off knowing there’s nothing fun (re: cold and snow) waiting outside. To avoid the urge to repeatedly hit snooze and dive back under the covers, our experts agree that it’s a good idea to prepare for your workout the night before. Hollis Tuttle, Director of Instructors at CITYROW NYC, tells Lively the fewer decisions you have to make before the sun comes up, the better. “Make sure that you know where you are going to sweat—if it’s the gym, plan your workout, and if it’s a group fitness class, make it a point to sign up in advance,” she says. She also suggests prepping breakfast, laying out the appropriate workout clothes and packing your post-workout bag, if necessary. That and envisioning how fantastic you feel after a killer workout never hurts!
One of the best ways to ensure you make it to your workout is to schedule it with someone else. “Most individuals struggle to find the motivation to exercise during the winter,” says Matthew Kornblatt, Owner and Founder of RightFit Personal Training. “Have a friend join your fitness journey in order to create an accountability system — you will be more dedicated with a partner who relies on you and vice versa.”
Hiring a personal trainer is another effective way to stay accountable. “If you say that you want to keep up with your fitness goals, then put your money where your mouth is!” says Kornblatt. “A quality fitness professional will help you set and achieve your goals, especially during the dark days of winter.”
Switch it up! Changing up your fitness routine and experimenting with something new can also keep you motivated to work out when it feels anything but appealing. “Trying a new style of class and/or a new class time — mixing up your routine can keep it fresh, exciting and provide challenges you weren’t aware of,” says Katie Knowles, Senior Bartender and Director of Talent Development for Local Barre. “For example, here at Local Barre, we offer four different styles of classes: Signature Open Barre, Open Barre Quickie, HIIT and TripleShot. From cardio to core sculpting, there is a variety to keep your mind and body motivated.”
Need an extra nudge? Set some goals to make that conditioning happen! “No matter how many workouts you want to getin per week, have a number in mind and jot it down!” says Kornblatt. “Studies prove that we are much more likely to accomplish our goals when they’re written out.” And don’t forget to reward yourself for your discipline! “Create a weekly or monthly goal and reward yourself!” she adds. “If your goal is three classes per week for one month, then buy the exercise pants you’ve been eyeing—you need to take time to thank yourself for your hard work and reaching your goals.”
Okay, okay so a gym date just isn’t going to happen for you today — that’s okay! There are other ways to keep your wellness regiment up outside of slipping your sneaks on. And first of these is monitoring your fluids. “If you don’t hydrate/fuel yourself, you will just make it harder to focus and execute on what needs to be done for the day,” says Aliyah Sims of Rumble Boxing in NYC. “Sometimes a little boost of caffeine is a great option as well! I’m not a coffee drinker, so I personally start my day with a cup of Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen for a natural energy boost.” It’s a good time to make sure your diet is full of nutrients, too.
Another great suggestion is to keep your meals in check. “Since we tend to be more sedentary once the temps drop, cleaning up your diet and eating smaller portions will actually help with your energy levels which could in turn also help with getting you to the gym,” explains Monika Franeczek, Personal Trainer and Director of Business Management at Chitown Trainer.
All that said, keep Sims's words of wisdom top-of-mind as you tackle your training throughout the winter: “I like to remind myself that every day is a privilege and to not take that for granted.”
Might as well make the most of the day and do something positive for your mind and body — no matter what the mood or season!