Great Ways to Stay in Shape During the Cold Months

It’s hard enough to stay in shape throughout the year, but wintertime makes this notoriously tricky routine even more difficult to keep up with. After all, who wants to brave the cold winds to travel to the gym, much less exercise outside? Despite the seeming unpleasantness of trying to stay in shape during the winter, it doesn’t have to be all that bad. In fact, it can less difficult than you thought, especially when keeping these practices in mind.

Have a Clear Goal in Mind

Staying motivated enough to exercise during the winter can seem like an uphill battle, and it’s definitely much harder when you aren’t quite sure what you should be doing or what kind of progress you’re making. Researchers have found that the key to a successful habit is ensuring that you choose a goal that is realistic, measurable, and as specific as possible. So, rather than telling yourself something like, “I’m going to stay fit during the winter,” try “I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes three times each week.”

Work Out With a Buddy

Is there someone in your life who would be willing to exercise regularly with you? Like most things in life, working out is a bit easier if you don’t go it alone. With the right workout buddy, you’ll have someone to motivate you, cheer you on, and get you exercising, even when you don’t especially feel like doing so. And hey, a little competition never hurt anyone – in fact, it might even do you a little good in this case.

Find an External Motivator

For some, trying to stick to the goal is enough to get them working out consistently. For others, though, having an endpoint in mind–and even having a workout partner–can still wear down after time. If this sounds like you, you might want to find some kind of other external motivating factor to get you through the entirety of winter (and beyond). For instance, you could set a nice reward for yourself if you complete your goal. Or, you could even consider hiring a fitness trainer. Not only would you be putting your own skin in the game, but you’d also have a professional who wouldn’t let you off easy.

Get Into the Routine You Enjoy

A common misconception about fitness is that it has to be unenjoyable. This doesn’t have to be the case! In fact, one of the secrets to a success fitness routine is finding the workouts that get you pumped and looking forward to the next session. So, whether your preferred activity is spending half an hour on the elliptical or going for a daily walk in the brisk weather, what matters is that you’re up and moving. And once you’ve made it a habit, you’ll find that it really isn’t always difficult to keep it up – even during the winter.

Focus on Your Other Areas of Health

While fitness is an important part of the health puzzle, there are other factors that affect your overall well-being, and this can be especially true in the colder months. Diet, of course, plays just as much a part in your health as exercising regularly. Eating natural foods that are high in vitamins, along with staying hydrated, will do a lot to make you feel great, even when the weather isn’t very agreeable. Also, go out of your way to get as much light exposure as you can to make up for the lack of sunlight that occurs in winter. A small investment in a bright lamp can be energizing, making it more likely you’ll get up and get active!

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