How To Keep Fitness Motivation In The Winter
You’re tired, you had a long day at work, you want to make time for your family—and you’re desperate to get home where it’s not cold and dark. Squeezing in time for fitness is a challenge that everyone faces, especially in the winter months. However, there are ways to get back that motivation and remain vigilant about your health. Here are five ways to beat the winter blues and keep your fitness motivation even on the grayest of days:
- Assess is just how strong your support network is. When both partners, or an entire family, are dedicated to health that makes things a lot easier. Many gyms have childcare options, and others have programs for teens and young adults. It’s time to shift the family focus to health. Of course, if your friends make up the bulk of your social life, you can always change those happy hours to gym dates complete with a hot tub dip for dessert.
- Write down your priorities. Research shows that if you write something down, you’re more likely to do it. That’s why it’s important to pen down your goals and priorities. Always put staying active and healthy at the top of the list, but don’t stop there. What exactly does that mean to you?
Maybe it’s at least 30 minutes of cardio four times per week with a yoga or Zumba class in there, too. Make your goals realistic and yet challenging. Just like you wouldn’t skip a shower in the morning (at least not that often) or dinner, sticking to your workout plan should be just as important.
- Shift your thinking so you’re not dreading it. Yoga instructors often say at the beginning of class that you’ve already done the most difficult part; you’ve already made it to your mat. It’s often the thought of the gym or that outside run that is the most painful and not the actual action. Keep a fully stocked iPod, try different machines or exercises until you find something you like, and try your best to stop thinking of it like a job you’re not paid for.
The reality is that you are paid for this “job.” Your compensation is better health, a longer life, a better mood, a more fit body and exercise can also relieve a number of ailments like depression. There are a number of options to choose from to make your machine run and look better.
- Give yourself more time. Don’t try to squeeze in time for the gym because you’ll end up cutting yourself short. If you want to jog on the treadmill for 30 minutes, it’s likely a one hour endeavor at least. The commute, the changing, and the trip to the locker room all add up. No one should ever feel rushed at the gym.
- Improve your sleep hygiene. Americans are chronically tired according to the National Sleep Foundation, but “sleep hygiene” can help you get on track. A cool, dark bedroom and battling technology addiction by avoiding screens at least two hours before bedtime can help optimize your sleep cycles.
Most important, keep your end goal in mind. Are you on a weight loss mission or trying to lower your resting heart rate? No matter how fit you are (or aren’t), there are elements of your life that exercise can improve. What do you want to work on?
About The Author: Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.