How to Stay Motivated to Workout, Even in Winter

Getting out of bed on cold days is hard whatever the reason, but it can be especially hard to throw off the covers if you know you're heading to the gym. Struggling with motivation in winter is a real problem for many of us, but it's not impossible to keep yourself working out regularly all the way to spring.

[ photo credit: Samuel Silitonga, ]

Winter also isn't the time to neglect your nutrition. Check out Planters for great healthy snack options.

Stay in bed (but not asleep)

Your bed is actually kind of a great place to exercise. Like exercise balls, the uneven surface of the bed can help you develop your balance and encourage your body to react faster to restabilize itself. This not only improves overall strength, but also helps to improve symmetry in your hips and make running and cycling easier. You don't even have to get dressed!

Know it's going to suck

One way to encourage yourself to go to the gym when the weather is awful is to embrace the fact that it's not going to be fun. But then, don't focus on the negative. Focus on the fact that you're doing something you didn't want to do or overcoming discomfort and obstacles to get a task done. This mindset can help you in other areas of life, too.

Take a friend

It's always easier to motivate yourself if you're working out with a buddy, and winter is no exception. Arrange to meet a friend at a class, or the gym, at a specific time, and you're way less likely to ditch. You can also have a great catch up and a coffee afterward.

Wear the right gear

If you're going to be running or exercising outdoors in winter, it's even more essential to get your gear right. Think about warm socks, gloves, ear muffs, and thermal tops and leggings. Not only will it help you stay motivated, but it will also help you stay warm!

Stay at home

If you don't want to leave the house and have space, simply work out at home! Pick up a set of hand weights, a yoga mat, exercise ball, and a few YouTube videos, and you'll be good to go. If you've got even more floor space than that, set up a treadmill or spin bike in front of the TV.

Switch things up

Switching up your workout is a great way to maintain motivation through the colder months. Go to the gym on a different day perhaps, add a new machine, or try out a new class you've had your eye on. That way, rather than dreading the winter, you'll feel excited about the upcoming change to your routine. Add in hot yoga, and you'll be cozy, too!

Set a goal

Having something to work toward can be a real motivator for sticking to a workout plan even in the winter. Train for an event, set a weightlifting goal, aim for a personal best – whatever it is that works best for you and your routine. It will keep you putting in the hard yards even on the coldest days, and make it even easier to keep it up once it starts to get warm again.

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