When the temperature drops, usually our workout motivation follows. During these months, many choose to stay home and indulge in excess calories. Just because the weather isn’t nice, doesn’t mean your body shouldn’t be either. Stop the habit of throwing all of your hard work out the window during the winter months just to work twice as hard to get your body ready for the summer. Here are some tips on how to stay fit when your body wants to go into hibernation mode.
6 Ways To Stay Fit During the Winter
1. Stay Warm
These months are the coldest of the year and if you want to train outdoors you must dress appropriately. A rule of thumb is to dress as if it were 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside. This will allow your body temperature to increase and not have to work as hard to maintain normal internal temperature. This also helps to prevent excessive sweating which happens when your body has to work extremely hard to maintain an optimal temperature around 98.6 degrees. Make sure to wear multiple layers of clothing. Remember, you can always take extra clothes off if you get too warm, but you won’t have extra clothes to put on!
Here are some tips on dressing warm:
30-40 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights or sweat pants for the legs. Earmuffs or hat to keep your ears warm, and scarf around your neck to trap in heat.
10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your base layer, and wind breaker pants over the tights. Face mask to trap to keep your head and ears warm.
0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops: (fleece) and a jacket. Wrap a scarf around your neck and wear a face mask to trap in heat from your mouth.
Below 0 to 0 degrees: Train indoors!
2. Try Something New
You don’t always have to stick to the same path each time you head out. Go on a new path, preferably one that is more challenging. This will help add variety to your workout and give you a new goal to accomplish. If you have a gym membership this is a great opportunity to take advantage of those fitness classes that you’ve walked past all year. Try spin class or yoga, you may actually enjoy it. You will learn a fun new activity, train different muscles than your normally do, and meet new people! The more you challenge your body, the more physically fit you will be.
3. Get a Partner
One way to get motivated is to train with a partner. Having one will help you to stay true to yourself and train as hard as possible. After all, you don’t want your partner to be the only one looking good! Running with a group of friends, doing home workouts, or scheduling gym sessions is a great way to stay active and motivated during the cold months.
4. Change Clothes Immediately
One big mistake many people make is that they keep their cold, wet, clothes on after they return from a workout. If you’re not exercising, your body temperature will drop back to normal. This sudden temperature change may shock the body, leaving you sick. To prevent this, remove your clothes once you get home, then take soothing, hot shower. Then drink a fresh cup of hot tea to warm your body.
5. Make a Goal
Challenge yourself by setting a new goal. Maybe it is to run 30 minutes, three days a week. Maybe it’s to finish a mile in under 15 minutes. Or possibly, to lose 10 lbs in 6 weeks. Whatever it may be, write it down and hold yourself accountable for it. Take the proper steps to help you get closer to achieving it. Take a bigger goal and break it down into mini goals. As you carry out the mini goals, you are closer to accomplishing your main goal.
6. Eat Clean
Remember, winter time should not be a 3 month buffet! Stick to your normal clean eating habits and don’t eat excess amounts of calories. As long as you eat fairly clean, having a cheat meal once every week, should do no harm. Many think that cheat meals should always be avoided, but fail to realize that one bad meal won’t make you fat, just like one good meal won’t make you fit. As long as you keep this along with your goal in mind, you can make the healthy choices for your dream physique. Remember to eat many fruits and vegetables because they contain vitamins, minerals, co-factors, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that will help to strengthen the immune system and fight off illnesses.
With these tips you can structure your own fitness plan and work towards accomplishing a goal. It is never too late to begin and every effort count. After all, you’re doing more work than those who are sitting in front of the television. Don’t wait until the New Year to make a resolution to start training and get into shape, start right now! As soon as you finish reading this article and sharing it with your friends, put on your workout clothes, fill up your water bottle and get started!