By: Katie Verburg
Katie Verburg is a personal trainer who is currently studying to become a certified holistic health coach. Here, she shares tips on staying motivated to work out in the winter.
The new year serves as a highly motivating time to clean up eating habits and finally signing up for that barre class you’ve been thinking of taking. It can also have the opposite effect thanks to the brutal winter weather. When it comes to finding motivation to work out, stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new is the winning ticket. Here’s what we mean.
Create daily reminders to squeeze in a workout every day. Place a “remember to exercise” sticky note somewhere that’s easily visible to you, like on a lunchbox, laptop screen, or on your bathroom mirror. Now that temps have dropped, planning out your week in advance and incorporating workouts into your schedule is a sure-fire way to successfully squeeze in a sweat session. But remember: It’s okay to be flexible on your most jam-packed days. Instead of going to the gym, take your workout indoors. Follow along to a fitness video or go for a run around the block.
Most gyms and studios offer complimentary 1-day or 1-week passes to try out their facilities – with no strings attached. If finances allow it, consider trying out a different studio from what you’re accustomed to during the winter. Not only will a new style of exercise introduce new movement and challenge your body, but the financial commitment will also serve as added motivation. You’re less likely to cancel on a pre-scheduled class when a cancellation fee is on the line.
There are plenty of ways to add movement throughout the day, whether you’re at home or at work. Avoid prolonged sitting by making a point to move every 20-30 minutes: Take the stairs, do jumping jacks in the bathroom at work, and park farther away in an effort to walk more. Create movement whenever possible. Even the smallest and shortest bursts of physical activity can create an immediate response in the body and mind. Instead of walking to your kitchen or bathroom, lunge there instead. Once there, perform 10 squats before lunging back to the living room. Incorporate stretching while in the shower – or in bed – to help you relax and loosen up tight muscles.
When watching television, try to add this bodyweight circuit in before the show comes back on:
Commercial 1: 5 squats and 5 push ups
Commercial 2: Plank hold
Commercial 3: 10 mountain climbers and 3 burpees
Commercial 4: 20 forward lunges
When the show returns, complete the same exercises, or add new ones to keep your body guessing.