No matter where your fitness motivation comes from, a need to improve your health or the desire to improve your physique for the summer season, we can all agree that it’s much more difficult to stay committed to your wellness goals and routine when winter rolls around. Colder temperatures, the busy holiday season and lack of recreational outdoor activities can all be considered roadblocks and setbacks if you let them.
Here are five tips and tricks to keep you motivated throughout our New England winter:
Set New Long Term Goals
Take the winter to prepare for a spring or summer season goal. Have you always wanted to bike the canal, complete a 5k, or just walk the beach without getting tired? Having an inspiring goal will keep your working. Plus who doesn't want to imagine beautiful cape cod summers while running it out on the treadmill?
Schedule time for fitness. With the chaos of the season, especially around the holidays, it can be easy to forget to make time for yourself specifically your fitness goals. Create a routine for yourself, set aside a chunk of time that will always be available for your workouts if that works for you. If you are not a routine person or life doesn't allow for it, plan time each week, that will work within your schedule, to make your fitness a priority
Use the Buddy System
Accountability works. If you are scheduled to meet a friend for a workout or signed up for class, the likelihood you will decide to skip it is decreased. It can also make your workout more enjoyable if you have company.
Step Outside your Comfort Zone
With most of the snowbirds having gone south for the winter and students back in school, the winter can be a great time to try that new class you've been interested in or change up you exercise plan. If you typically only workout on land, try a pool class or substitute running for some lap swimming, see how the water can change your experience. Always focused on cardio, try supplementing your sessions with resistance training. You might discover new hobbies in the process.
Lastly don’t lose hope over incidental slip ups. Readjust your smaller goals. If you routine has changed, then your weekly goals should change too. Having goals within an achievable range means you will be more likely to complete them. Can't make it to the gym 4-5 days a week for the time being? Make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts in the time you do have. This way you are feeling positively reinforced when you get a great 2-3 workouts in rather than feeling defeated about the ones you missed. Also let yourself have the slice of Thanksgiving pie and the Christmas cookies because life is about balance.
Blog post by Rebekah Raber.