Whether you’re just starting to commit to fitness because of a New Year’s resolution or you’ve been working to improve your health for some time, cold weather can throw a few stumbling blocks in your path.
It is difficult to run, bike, and hike when it’s freezing out, - and snow, ice, and wind make your workouts nearly impossible. And if you're not used to making your own workout routine - it's even harder.
But, you don’t have to put your fitness on hold just because of winter weather; our tips will help you stay focused no matter the temperature.
5 Ways to Stay Fit in the Winter
1. Create a Home Gym
It’s easy to find excuses to stay home when it’s freezing out. But, these excuses don’t help you improve your fitness. To stay committed to regular exercise, create a home gym. When you
Another important step in creating a home gym is putting it in just the right location. One tip is to avoid setting it up in an unfinished basement, especially if it is dank and dark. You won’t be motivated to go to that part of your home to work out, and you’ll be more tempted to skip your workout when the equipment is out of sight.
When you spend money on the right pieces of equipment, you can create a workout routine that works every area of your body. You’ll also run out of excuses to work out because the equipment is right in your own home.
According to Redfin, the first pieces you should get include dumbbells, a yoga mat, a Bosu balance trainer, and adaptable resistance bands. These items are affordable, are easy to store, and help you improve your strength and balance while toning your body. These pieces of equipment also are ideal for beginners.
It’s better to make a space in a spare bedroom, home office, or enclosed back porch or patio.
You also can dedicate a portion of your living room to your home gym so you can make working out a family affair or be near your children or watch television while you exercise.
2. Give a Winter Sport a Try
Some sports were made for cold weather, and trying one or more of them is a great way to stay fit while having fun. Ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding are just a few of the winter sports that are available in several areas around the country.
They’re also ideal for family fun or fun with friends. In fact, you may enjoy doing them so much that you won’t even feel like you’re exercising. Trying a winter sport also is a great way to vary your workout routine and stay motivated until the weather breaks.
3. Work With a Fitness or Nutrition Coach
If you continue to struggle with your motivation and focus while the freezing weather persists, consider working with a fitness, nutrition, or health coach. Certified coaches can help you find what works best for your body. They also address your individual nutrition and fitness goals and help you develop a plan to achieve them.
You will find the support and accountability you need to stay on track no matter the weather, and you’ll be working with someone who has the experience and knowledge it takes to help you stay on track.
4. Set Fitness Goals and Stay Accountable
Another way to stay focused on your fitness, even when it’s freezing out, is to set achievable goals. Setting goals is a proven way to achieve more success, and seeing progress toward those goals helps you stay motivated.
According to Entrepreneur, the best goals to set are SMART goals. These goals are specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, and have a timeframe. Setting specific goals that are measurable helps you set benchmarks and keeps you accountable.
If you work with a coach, this person will help you set goals that are realistic without being too easy.
Accountability is another important piece of staying focused on your fitness.
The trick is to find a way to stay accountable that motivates you rather than making you feel guilty or allowing others to judge you when you hit a plateau or fall off the wagon.
Some people find that writing in a fitness journal helps them stay accountable because they list their goals, reflect on their challenges and progress, and track their accomplishments. Others find that telling a friend about their fitness goals help them stay on track.
If you still have difficulty sticking to your fitness goals, try finding a fitness accountability partner.
Fitness accountability partners help one another stay on track by checking in with one another each day, sharing recipes, suggesting new workouts, sending sweaty selfies after a workout, and reminding one another to drink enough water.
You may choose your best friend, a coworker, or a family member to be your fitness accountability partner. Just be sure to choose someone who is as committed as you are so you won’t be let down.
Also, select someone who will call you out when you skip a workout or drift from your healthy eating plan.
5. Set a Spring Goal
Winter often feels like it drags on forever, so setting a spring goal helps you stay focused on your fitness when it’s freezing out.
For some people, the spring goal is the number of pounds they want to lose over the course of the three winter months. They make this the overall objective of their winter workouts, with smaller, more attainable weight benchmarks along the way.
Other people buy a bathing suit or spring outfit in a smaller size and put it in a visible area, so they have a tangible spring goal. The clothing also serves as a reward for all of your hard work over the winter.
You can stay focused on fitness even when it’s freezing out if you make a plan. Start by creating a home gym, so you stop making excuses to skip your workouts. Then, give a winter sport a try.
You also should consider working with a fitness or nutrition coach, setting SMART goals and finding a fitness accountability partner, and setting a long-term spring goal.
About the Author
Jason is a personal trainer and caregiver to his elderly mom. He enjoys sharing his fitness knowledge on his website StrongWell.org
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