Fewer daylight hours, colder days, and Christmas parties can make it hard to stay on track with your workout regime during winter. Staying active no matter the weather, however, is beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
If you’re after some winter fitness motivation, then there are ways you can keep your mojo going without worrying about the cold. Here are five ways to stay motivated to work out during winter.
1. Find Your Motivational Workout Playlist
Listening to music is a surefire way to heat up your winter fitness motivation. Music activates areas in our brain (the limbic system and hippocampus) that are tied to our emotions, which can have a profound effect on our mood and motivation.
According to Scientific American, music can elevate your mood, motivate you to move, and can even distract you from aches and pains.
As for what motivates us to exercise, it’s the structure and patterns within songs (the beat and rhythm) and the anticipation of what’s coming next that makes us want to engage with the music. This is why putting on tunes you enjoy that have a high tempo (between 120 and 140 beats per minute) can get you geared up for and stay engaged with your workout.
To kickstart your winter fitness motivation, make sure you have a good workout playlist to keep you in the zone. Spotify is a popular digital music streaming service that is simple to use and easy to create your own playlists. It’s also easy to find premade playlists on the app, so if you’re short on time or inspiration for what to include in your workout playlist, then browse through the Search tab.
If you prefer to exercise without your mobile in tow, then you can use Spotify on your Samsung Watch. It’s also available to download on desktop or just be used in-browser.
2. Schedule Your Workout Time (and Commit to It)
Benjamin Franklin was wise with his words: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This is particularly relevant when it comes to boosting your winter fitness motivation.
When motivation falters, discipline needs to step in and take the reins. If you don’t have a workout schedule plan in place, however, it’s going to be easy for you to shrug off a commitment that doesn’t exist.
To harness your winter fitness motivation, use a planning app to schedule your workouts. Calendar apps are ideal for managing your time as you can use them to plan your days based on your commitments.
Now that maintaining your winter fitness is on your list of commitments, it’s worth using a calendar app to schedule your workouts. Google Calendar is a free app available on all platforms that is easy to use. There are also a variety of useful add-ons for Google Calendar, making it a great option to use to schedule your workouts.
Using a calendar app is also beneficial for planning your workouts if you need to change your schedule around. Winter months bring shorter days and colder, darker mornings and evenings. If you normally work out first thing in the morning, but you find the cold and dark winter demotivating, using a calendar app to schedule your workout later in the day will mean you won’t lose your commitment to fitness during the winter.
3. Boost Winter Fitness Motivation With a Workout Tracker
Exercising outdoors can give you a natural energy boost, so if you can endure the cold weather, taking your winter fitness on the road will bring additional benefits.
Using a fitness tracker is an ideal way to motivate you to exercise outdoors. If you’re a runner, then Nike Run Club is a great app for tracking your sessions. You can follow plans and listen to motivational playlists within the app, too. Alternatively, simply using your mobile’s in-built step counter can be enough to motivate you to exercise out in the elements.
Stick on a good music playlist and get your heart pumping with a good-paced mood-boosting walk. Set a goal on your tracker to hit (whether that’s walking duration, step count target, or calories to burn), wrap up, and head outside to keep your winter fitness and levels topped up.
4. Forget the Cold Weather and Work Out Indoors
If the cold (and possibly wet) weather is a non-negotiable for you, then you can take your winter fitness regime indoors.
You’ll find that your winter fitness motivation is much easier to maintain if you’re in comfortable conditions. There are plenty of workouts you can do indoors without even having to leave the house (you can save on that gym membership, too!)
There is plenty of reputable fitness content offered for free online, from YouTube tutorials to workout plans on fitness websites. If you enjoy group workouts or fitness classes, then you can also join free live workout classes in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re a gamer, then you’ll undoubtedly own a console that supports at least one workout video game. From Just Dance to Ring Fit, check out your console’s game store to find an exercise game that will keep you fit during winter.
5. Use a Warm-Up App to Prevent Injury
Warm-up and cool-down exercises and stretches are even more crucial during winter months when the weather is colder. Failing to warm up your muscles in cold weather is more likely to result in injury, and a workout-related injury is more likely to diminish your winter fitness motivation!
Not only can performing warm-up exercises before your workout help prevent injury, but it can also boost your performance. It also prepares your mind for your workout, so you feel pumped up before you start.
If you don’t already have a good warm-up routine, then using a warm-up app will help you get started. Stretch & Flexibility is a home workout stretching app that offers both warm-up and cool-down stretches and routines to ensure you prevent injuries before working out.
Keep the Winter Fitness Motivation Going
It’s easier than you think to maintain your winter fitness motivation—it just takes a bit of preparation. The colder temperatures may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but you’ll slowly get used to them as you exercise more. So, wrap up warm and head out into the great outdoors. You’ve got this!