Do not let winter stop your exercise game. It can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise during the winter due to the cold and dreary tone the weather takes. We have compiled some tips on how to stay on your exercise schedule.
1. Change Your Routine
It is inevitable, with winter comes the obstacle of cold weather, snow, and ice. If you regularly exercise outside, change it up! Take classes you have never tried but that you have wanted to. You can still run, but it is best to stay inside so you do not risk slipping on ice. You do not have to give up your regular exercise routine, just tweak it a bit and modify it to indoor workouts.
A big part of this is having the ability to be flexible. Winter weather is, let’s face it, unpredictable and with that comes the fact that bad weather might ruin what you have planned. Do not let that discourage you or stop you from working out that day. Go to the gym instead, if you can, or stay at home and do a quick and easy at-home workout.
2. Join a Community
Another big part is being held responsible for your exercise. Join a community with people from your neighborhood, gym, or even your work. This way you will always have someone to keep you accountable for doing your exercises that day.
This is also a great way to keep each other motivated for the next day’s exercises. If you are going this exercise thing alone, it is easy to skip a day, which then leads to skipping another day and before you know it you have fallen down the rabbit hole and it has been 2 weeks since your last workout. By creating a positive community you will have people to pick you up when you get tired or discouraged.
Joining a community for your exercise routine can be just as simple as you and one other person, it does not have to be this huge group thing.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep at Night
In the winter it is super easy for us to feel tired and want to take naps more often than other times in the year. This can be attributed to the lack of natural light we experience during the winter as well as the inevitable amount of carbs we consume over the winter.
It is always good to get a proper amount of sleep each night, but with the shorter days and longer nights messing with your internal clock, it is difficult to stay awake during the day. Because of this, it can be more difficult to want to work out, but by getting plenty of sleep each night you can help combat this issue a little better.
It is so easy to choose sleep over basically anything else, but don’t fall into that trap. If you feel tired during the day, get up and do a couple jumping jacks to get your blood flowing again. In the winter it is so important not only to your exercise routine but to your health to get plenty of sleep during the night.
It is just as easy to dehydrate in the winter as it is in the summer, so keeping up with your hydration is a must for your winter exercise routine. Part of this is due to the drier air we experience during the winter.
One of the best reasons to keep you with your water intake during the winter is because it helps your body stay warmer. The reason for this is because your body uses water to maintain its internal temperature. So if you do not drink enough water for your recommended height and weight then you could cause your core temp. to significantly drop.
In general, it is always a good idea to stay hydrated purely for the simple fact to not get dehydrated. It also just helps your body function better in general.
5. Cover Head, Fingers, and Toes
If you absolutely have to workout outside for a run or whatever reason it may be, make sure you are coving up your extremities. When you exercise you increase blood flow, but by being in colder weather, your blood vessels constrict making blood flow only to the most important organs. These do not include your hands, toes, and sometimes your head.
You do not have to go crazy on the layering. In fact, it is recommended to not overdo the layering process since your body naturally becomes warm while you exercise. With that being said, make sure you still have adequate clothing to keep you warm while you exercise outside.
We recommend mittens, that way your fingers can stay together and use the warmth coming off of each one to stay warm. If you don’t like working out in stocking hats, do not worry about it, try a headband or earmuffs to at least cover your ears, since those are one of the first places to lose circulation if you get too cold.
6. Stay Out of Extreme Weather
This may sound like an obvious tip for winter exercise but stay out of extreme weather. We all know winter weather can be unpredictable but do not put yourself in a situation where you can get stuck out in the cold or in an accident just because you needed to workout outdoors.
In fact, we recommend that if you do not have to then do not exercise outside. Winter is a perfect time to try a different type of workout routines like kickboxing or Zumba! The latter being one you can do in your own home if you happened to get snowed or stormed in.
Winter weather is not something to take lightly, so it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution when it comes to doing your exercise routine outdoors this winter.