15 Ways to Stay Motivated This Winter


Finding it difficult to stay motivated for your winter workout? Here are 15 excuse busters to nudge you, push you, or inspire you to stay motivated and keep moving through the cold months.

Excuse: “It’s too hard to get out of bed on cold, dark mornings.”

1)  Create heat. Adjust the thermostat timer to warm your home or bedroom before the alarm goes off. If the temperature outside the duvet is as enjoyable as inside, poof! The excuse is gone.

2) Recreate early sunlight. Invest in a bedside lamp that simulates natural daylight. Starting your day with natural light will help activate your internal clock to get ready to take on the day.

3) Tune your alarm. Rather than a normal, annoying alarm clock, use your iPod or similar device to play specific songs that get you going.

4) Find a friend. Find someone who will commit to joining you in the morning for walks or workouts, and hold you accountable for showing up.

Excuse: “I may be out of bed but I still don’t want to go outside.”

5) Put your head under water. Rather than clinging to the comfort of your favorite housecoat while shuffling to the kitchen for a coffee, make a beeline to the shower. The water will wake you.

6) Dress the part. The truth is there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices. Is it time to upgrade to proper winter performance gear? A new base layer or trail running shoes might be the bribe you need to head outdoors on a regular basis.

7) Keep it simple, smarty (K.I.S.S.). The best way to overcome our excuses is to not create them in the first place. Keep it simple: go for a 25-minute run around the office block at lunch, do three laps of your neighborhood first thing, or switch things up at the gym by using only the cardio machines you don’t have to wait for. You’ll finish a quality workout with less hassle and at a pace that feels rewarding.

8) Warm up indoors. Do some jumping jacks, leg lifts or pushups in your living room before heading out. Not only will it get your heart rate going and your blood circulating, it will make it very difficult to slide back into bed.

9) Tap into technology. Proclaiming your intention to workout each day on Facebook, Twitter, your blog or online community can strengthen your commitment, even if it is to avoid the embarrassment and guilt of not following through.

Excuse: “I can’t find the same passion or fire to do it regularly.”

10) See the big picture. Find, or make your own 12-week calendar from January to March. Put it on one page and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day (bedroom wall or office desk). When you look at all three months together you realize how fast it’s going to go.

11) Use mini-goals for major rewards. Set small targets that lead to higher intensity, focus and discipline to stay on track each day. For maximum motivation, always write your goals down, making them specific and measurable, and track progress so you can reward yourself for the results.

12) Create your own challenge. Speak to the gym manager and together devise new and motivating challenges for members. If your health club doesn’t do an indoor triathlon or duathlon, take charge and make it happen. Not only does it keep you fit but it helps build your commitment to train and create camaraderie with other members.

13) Remember what works for you. If you find yourself suitably motivated in the summer, what specifically created that motivation: Targets? Goals? Competition? The great outdoors? How can you tap into the driving force and the feeling it creates in the summer and replicate something similar now?

14) Turn from student to teacher. If you’re an experienced athlete, now is a great time to offer your knowledge to someone who could use extra guidance to get into the sport. Is there someone you know that has hinted at trying a triathlon? Become their mentor.

15) Step out of the ordinary. Months of in-season intensity and pushing your limits will tire the best of us. Take a yoga or pilates class. They are easy on the joints but provide great lasting benefits.

Don’t hesitate. Give one of these a try this week and share your ideas for what keeps you motivated.

Information from Active.com by Chris Janzen.

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