When the winter temperatures roll in, it’s human nature to want to cozy up indoors and nap until spring comes. But if you do, you’re going to face an uphill battle getting back into shape for summer. Instead of entirely abandoning your routine until the earth thaws, try mixing it up to stay motivated even when snow falls outside.
Here are five tips that will help keep you active all winter long.
Work towards a time-bound goal
A 5K by the end of March. A half-marathon in April. A Tough Mudder by May. If you want to remain committed to your fitness routine, it’s often helpful to set a specific goal. That way, when you’re contemplating staying in bed instead of getting up and going for a 2-mile run, you’ll have a tangible reason not to hit the snooze button.
You can also set a smaller goal, like doing 10 push-ups every day or working out twice a week. Whatever it is, just choose something attainable for you.
Splurge on a wintry workout ensemble
When you want to keep up your fitness regime in the winter, you need the proper attire. Having a winter-appropriate workout ensemble in your closet might be just the motivation you need to get outside for some active fun. Round up the winter-wear essentials, including sweat-wicking pants and a top, wool socks and gloves, a hat or headband that covers your ears, and a warm, wind-breaking outer layer.
Find an exercise buddy
Perhaps it’s only the public shame that motivates you. Short of posting a sleeping-in selfie every time you don’t make it to the gym, there’s one option that makes sense — invite a friend to join you on your journey. Plan to work out with your buddy two or three times a week to create a routine. When another person is depending on you to show up for a workout, that accountability may be more convincing than a cute new pair of running pants alone.
Join a gym
If the thought of heading outside in the frigid temperatures is too unappealing for you, don’t try to force yourself. Set yourself up for success by joining a gym instead. If you have the bells and whistles of a nice gym to look forward to — like a steam in the sauna after your workout — you’re more apt to make it to a sweat session in the morning. Depending on the gym’s terms, you could even join for the winter months, then cancel your membership and head back outside come spring.
Try something new
If you are already following these tips but still struggling to stick to a fitness routine this winter, there is one more thing that you can try: an entirely new indoor workout. Winter is the perfect season to finally attempt hot yoga or head to a spin class at a boutique studio nearby. You could even get adventurous and try a trampoline fitness class at an indoor playground. Many trampoline parks offer courses for both adults and kids, plus, it’s a great way to increase brain activity.
Now that you have a few ideas about how to maintain your motivation this winter, you have no excuse to hit the snooze button. Find a workout that inspires you to get out of bed in the morning and keep your fitness habits going strong all season long. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be in perfect shape to conquer that long race you’ve been training for or jump right back into your outdoor workouts.
This article was written by Megan Ray Nichols. If you enjoyed this article, please visit her page Schooled by Science.