I have a confession to make.
I’ve fallen off the workout bandwagon. The weather got a little chilly up north … then Thanksgiving came around … and it was a wrap.
If you find yourself in the same boat as me that’s totally okay! Because guess what? The winter months can be a challenging time to stick to an exercise plan. The weather is colder, the daylight hours are shorter, and other priorities can make it hard to keep a routine.
Even though exercise in winter months can be challenging, it’s still super important for our overall well being.
So to help us out, here are some tips to keep in shape when ole’ man winter ❄️ rears his head:
Make a plan 📝
No plan + no action = no exercise!
If you try and wing it you’ll soon find (like me) you’re not hitting good goals. However, if you plan your workouts in advance (with alternatives for unpredictable Nor’easter’s and the such), your chances of following through increases dramatically.
Go for the goals🎯
Remind yourself of your goals for exercise and staying in shape.
Do you want to hit a flight or two of stairs without getting out of breath? Feel more fit, toned, or healthier? Perhaps you’d like to drop 3 lbs. by the end of the month?
By starting with basic goals in mind, you’re more likely to succeed. This is especially true if you know smaller increments work better for you than larger ones. Once you work yourself into a pace and goal achievement that makes you feel good about your efforts, then I’d suggest increasing your routine in a healthy way.
I don’t know about you, but with the often frigid temps, I’m not looking forward to leaving the comfort of my warm house to go running a mile outside.
If you’ve gotten used to exercising outdoors throughout the summer/fall, then start thinking about how you can move your training indoors. For those that don’t have access to a building gym or home workout studio, try some alternate routines.
If you have weights, resistance bands, jump rope, yoga blocks, or other equipment, you can creatively incorporate them into a great full-body workout to get your winter routine going.
Another back pocket trick of mine is to flex with fitness YouTubers. Find one that fits your style and flow, and enjoy having a personal trainer on call 24/7!! Some of my go-to’s are:
Keep eating healthy🥗
Between the scrumptious holiday dishes and hearty winter meals, remembering to eat healthy during this time of year is super difficult for me. From the home-cooked meals to catching up on restaurants I missed (as an out-of-state student), it’s really easy to bump my head while falling off that exercise wagon.
But, I try to follow the recommended 80/20 rule which says a healthy eating habit is 80% good eats and 20% (brace yourself ) more indulgent eats (with moderation). Following that equation is a sure-fire way to reaching healthy goals and keeping excess fat away.
Don’t let a lack of time get you down ⌛
When your schedule is busy, remind yourself that exercise doesn’t have to take long. There are lots of simple ways to increase your physical activity.
- Instead of using an escalator or elevator, take the stairs (even if you need to stop in between steps)
- Park your car a little farther away to increase your steps.
- When your favorite song comes on, instead of just exercising your pipes, get moving and dance up a storm for a few minutes
- While you’re brushing your teeth, try some squats
- Washing the dishes, mopping, or sweeping? Try side leg kicks remembering to alternate each side (swing your leg out for a few counts) and remember to alternate
Experts recommend that you exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. However, even five or ten minutes of movement a day can help with weight loss, improving your mood, and increasing your heart health.
So, remember your goals for exercising, grab a partner, find an activity you enjoy and get moving!
And for some more inspiration, check out my 5 Ways to Stick to a Fitness Plan post!