Let me paint a picture: The alarm rings at 6am. You’ve set it an hour early so you can get a run or workout in before work, but the snooze alarm is right underneath the stop button, it’s cold and dark outside and your bed’s just so comfy that turning over for 5 more minutes wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen, would it?
Or maybe you’ve just arrived home after a long day at work and the sofa is calling. You deserve a drink and some comfort food after all you’ve achieved today, so to go back out in the cold to that exercise class, running club or gym would be counter-productive to feeling better… wouldn’t it?
We can excuse our way out of most situations, especially when it comes to working out in winter. So, how do you stay motivated to stay in shape in the colder months? Here are my top 5 tips.
1. Schedule Your Workouts
Just like planning drinks or lunch with a friend, your exercise plans should be scheduled into your week ahead. This will give you the foresight to plan whether you’ll need to take your gym bag with you at the beginning of the day or eat a heartier lunch so you can sweat it out straight after work. It also helps you to be realistic with the free time you have available to exercise. I guarantee you’ll feel much more content having completed two workouts that you intentionally planned rather than hoping to exercise every day and only making it twice. Ultimately, planning your workouts minimises excuses for not going and maximises effectiveness.
2. Choose Something That Excites You
There’s no point committing to a healthier lifestyle if you hate the activity you’re doing. If you despise running, don’t sign up for park run or hit the treadmill in the gym. Instead, choose fun activities that you’ll look forward to each week. Dancing, swimming, pole fitness and horseriding are just some examples of exercise that people don’t initially associate with keeping fit, yet are great ways of staying in shape. Speak to friends and have a Google to see what’s available in your area. You might just find your new hobby.
3. Workout With A Friend
Tell some friends and family members about your new plans so they can help to keep you accountable. Even better, if you can rope someone into working out with you, you can not only keep each other on track but can also catch up before and after your exercise. A double win!
4. Exercise When Productive
If possible, find your most productive point in the day and schedule your workouts for this time. If you’re a night owl you may well find that you’re more inclined to stick to your workout plans post-work rather than early in the mornings. Whereas if you like to get cosy the second you walk in from work and find you’re most productive in the mornings, a pre-work sweat session could excite you out of bed early.
5. Home Workouts
If the thought of leaving your warm, cosy home to head into the cold outdoors to keep fit fills you with dread, then perhaps home workouts could be the answer. YouTube, exercise DVDs, fitness apps and e-workout courses are a great way of fitting in time to exercise around your busy life. Squeezing in 20 minutes a couple of times a week is much better than nothing and usually delivers minimal disruption to your day if you’re working out at home.
I hope these tips helped you to feel more motivated to exercise this winter. I’m delighted to announce that my free Fit In Feb with Erin series launches later this week on my blog and my Instagram profile. I’d love for you to join me, so stay tuned for more information.