Are you struggling to stay in shape during cold months? Do you want to overcome winter fatigue? This article sheds light on the right mindset needed to stay motivated to exercise during gloomy winter months. If you’ve always been sad, moody, depressed, or demotivated when winter arrives, we have some tips that can give you all the motivation you need to exercise and maintain good health.
It’s no locker room secret that many people suffer declines in mood, energy, and physical fitness during colder months. When winter arrives, it brings with it a feeling of gloom and despair—not an emotion that many human beings want to associate with. As a result, many people become lazy, dispirited, and unmotivated during this season.
Surviving winter goes beyond just huddling close to the heater; nothing stops you from enjoying as many activities as you normally do during warmer climates. In fact, the major reason why you’ve been in the house for two weeks straight, avoiding the cold is that you’ve lost the drive to exercise.
How to Stay Motivated During Winter
Let’s face it, cold winter conditions can hamper your fitness goals. All of a sudden, driving to the gym feels like a snoozefest now; especially after raking all that snow off your windshield. Still, you have to make it out to farther destinations in near-freezing conditions. And so you stand back and wonder, “How exactly can I stay in shape during these cold times and overcome winter fatigue?”
We’re glad you asked; because here are a few tips to get you motivated in the winter.
Always Remember How Good Exercise Makes You Feel: We know it may be hard for you to get up early in the morning, during winter, for a jog around your snowy neighborhood. However, the moment you reminisce on how good you feel after an exercise, this thought will become your major motivation to exercise or hit the gym. Think less about the cold and more about the benefits of exercising.
Get a Workout Partner: By having a person with who you regularly exercise, you will become a lot more motivated to keep your workout schedule on track, especially during colder months, like February.
Exercise at Home: Okay, so heading to the gym may be a little difficult during freezing temperatures. However, that doesn’t stop you from exercising at home. Matter of fact, home workouts are the best way to get your body fired up for the entire day.
Tell Everyone About Your Workout Plan: More often than not, when we tell others our goals for the year, we become even more motivated to achieve them. The same policy applies to your workout plans. The more people you tell, the more dedicated you will become towards exercise.
How to Stay Healthy This Winter
Winter is finally here; the season of fluffy white snow, skiing and snowboarding, family visits, and intimate bonding by the fireplace. That being said, winter does have its demerits. The season rings along with frigid temperatures; cold, harsh winds; dry air, and a lack of sunlight. For many people, winter really messes up their moods, keeping them huddled up inside with significantly increasing weight gain risks.
Not you though; you want to stay in shape this winter. Your health is super important to you, and you would do anything to protect it during this cold climate. Well, you’re in luck; here are 5 solid tips to stay healthy, fit, and happy this winter:
Be Exposed to Light: In every winter season, light emitted to the Earth reduces significantly. As living beings, our major source of energy is the sun. The moment we get less than required sunlight, our moods decline. To avoid this from happening, you should increase your exposure to vitamin D; exercise more often, and start light therapy with lamps and box lights.
Wash Hands Frequently: Wetter climates are associated with higher risks of influenza disease such as flu and fever. A little exposure to influenza can cause our immune systems to decline; therefore it is important that you have balanced nutrition, good fitness, and sufficient sunlight. With that in mind, you must wash your hands and sanitize regularly. This reduces the risk of contracting harmful hand-transmitted bacteria by up to 80%
Stay Hydrated: Relevant studies agree that the best way to stay hydrated is to drink water before you feel thirsty. During the winter seasons, it is important to keep your body hydrated with sugarless liquids to avoid falling sick.
Reduce Stress: The easiest way to illness is stress because it drains your energy and suppresses your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to disease. If you find yourself constantly stressed, change your lifestyle habits this winter; and you will surely become healthier.
Maintain a Balanced Diet: The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ means a lot more than you can imagine. To achieve a healthy body, you must be wary of the varying nutritive intakes of each meal that you consume. You should also diversify your diet by eating lots of vegetables and fresh fruits with lesser amounts of meat. Supplements are also very beneficial.
Exercise and Protect Your Skin: A healthy skin means a healthier mind and body. The first step to getting great skin is to moisturize—always use a moisturizer. It’s freezing dry outside. The next step is to exercise daily, no matter how little. Running is arguably the best winter exercise to practice. The more miles you run in a day, the healthier you’ll be.
4 Tips for Running in Cold Weather
Without a doubt, running is the best way to enjoy the outside world on a cold windy day and overcome winter fatigue. During winter, running daily can help you stay fit and healthy. Before you hit the gym, ensure you run some laps. This way, you can keep warm and prepare your body for more intense drills.
Running should be fun, especially in winter. Here are 4 tips for cold weather running:
Start with Some Indoor Warm-ups: It’s freezing outside, so you definitely want to give your body some time to get ready for a long run. Dynamic stretches, strides, yoga, etc., are some basic warm-ups that can prepare your mind and body for an early morning run. Give it a try next time you go for a jog.
Get Your Winter Running Gear: You definitely do not want to go for a run without the required gear, because that just spoils the fun. Before you hit the road, you should have on your hat, gloves, two layers of clothing for your top and bottom; and insulating footwear. Pay attention to your gear; ensure they keep you warm when you go for a run.
Adjust Your Workout according to the Weather: When it’s fairly cold outside, you have even more motivation to run an extra mile. When it’s really cold, on the other hand, you could stick to simple runs around the block. The decision ultimately lies with you.
Know Your Limits: Do not force it. Identify your limits for the day, and stop running when you feel stretched. Remember, the goal is to stay healthy and fit, not wear out your muscles. Make running fun for yourself and only push past your limits when you absolutely can.
Overcome Winter Fatigue
Winter no longer has to be that time of the year when you fall into a melancholy state. You can maintain the same summer excitement, by staying motivated to eat clean; keeping hydrated and stress-free; and exercising during colder months, by participating in the early morning or late night runs. And never forget winter can be as exciting as any other season if you make it so. It simply means a different perspective and perhaps even discovering new hobbies such as snowboarding, snowshoeing, skiing, etc.
Happy running and we hope this article helps you overcome winter fatigue!
To read our previous Health & Fitness article click here.
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