It’s dark and cold and dark and…. did we mention cold? Which is why it totally makes sense if your motivation to workout and eat well dwindles during winter. We’ve been there. But things have changed, well, our mindset that is. We’ve learned that it’s not necessarily the conditions that need to change for us to become motivated to fit in cold-weather workouts, it’s the way we think about them. By reframing the thoughts that keep you in bed and away from reaching your fitness goals into inspiring ones that boost your desire to get moving, you have the potential to become the fittest you’ve ever been this winter.
First step, focus on the benefits of cold-weather workouts. There’s plenty of them, but we’re explaining the top seven. Then, make a commitment to your health with these five workout hacks to stay on track, even when your mind tries to get in your way.
The Benefits of Exercise During the Colder Months
#1 Exercise Helps Fight the Chills
If you wanna feel toastier all day long, add in some exercise. Exercise gets your blood pumping and helps circulate more heat in your body even after you’re back home on the couch.
#2 Push Harder Without Overheating
Have you ever started to get into the groove of an amazing workout, and then out of nowhere your internal temperature skyrockets, and you have to step away? Such a buzzkill. When it’s cooler, your body temperature can stay lower, even when you’re pushing yourself longer.
#3 Burn More Calories
Think of it like free cryotherapy. Cold temperatures have been proven to increase overall calorie burn, whether you’re moving in them or not. It’s not enough to count as a workout. But it is something!
#4 Beat the Winter Bugs
It’s no new news that exercise boosts your immune system. But let us remind you again, just in case you forgot.
#5 Boosts Happy Vibes
The dark and the cold can put you in a funk, it’s true. One of the best ways to bust the winter blues is with a good ‘ole sweat session. Trust us on this one — no one ever regrets a workout, so be sure to get lots of movement into your day and set workout reminders to stay on top of your cold-weather workout routine.
#6 Get More Done (Even When It’s Dark)
It can feel daunting to think about getting everything done when you just want to lay in bed. Adding in some exercise to your day is an easy way to improve your energy levels and be more productive.
#7 Strengthen Your Heart
Your body has to work harder in cold weather to try and maintain its temperature, which is why you burn more calories. It’s also why it can help strengthen your cardiovascular system!
5 Ways to Get Stay On Track This Winter
Mindset is important, but it’s not enough to feel and look the best you ever have. However, pair it with these five steps, and you’ll be on your fitness A-game all winter long.
#1 Always Warm Up to Reduce Injury
No matter what time of year it is, it’s important to include a warm-up before exercise. Focus on dynamic stretches that keep you moving or some light cardio. These types of warm-ups will loosen up your muscles and joints without reducing your strength output potential.
#2 Wear Layers If You’re Exercising Outdoors
You may start feeling cold, but eventually, your body is going to warm up. Make sure you put on layers, focusing on protecting your head, hands, and feet where the most heat can escape. As you warm up, you can take off the layers. But keep them handy in case your intensity decreases, and your body starts to cool again.
#3 Stay Hydrated, Even If You’re Not Thirsty
This hack isn’t just for your cold-weather workouts, hydration is important all the time. But, it’s easier to forget to drink fluids when it’s cooler. Your body doesn’t always give the same cues that it needs water. But just because you don’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean you’re hydrated. Stay on top of hydration throughout the day, and make sure to drink water during your workout.
#4 Make a Workout Schedule and Stick To It
Nothing keeps you on track better than creating a workout schedule and making a commitment to yourself to stick to it. Even during the winter. So many people stop exercising simply because they don’t have a plan… Let’s do better! Pick your workouts for the week and schedule them in. You can even set workout reminders right in your FitOn app for some added motivation.
#5 Take Advantage of an Earlier Bedtime
Want to crawl into bed at 8 p.m. because of the time change? Us too. Take advantage of snuggle season and set your alarm an hour or so earlier so you can fit in a butt-kicking workout before your busy day begins.
Keep Working on Those Fitness Goals All Winter Long
One of the best parts about fitness is how good it makes you feel — more energized, productive, slimmer, stronger, and happier. Don’t let the winter sabotage your amazing results from the months prior. You’ve worked too darn hard to let them go because of chilly temperatures and shorter days. So, use these cold-weather workout hacks and keep crushing your fitness goals. You got this!