“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.” ~Jim Rohn
Happy Friday beautiful people! I hope everyone has festive and heartwarming plans for this coming weekend. Today, when getting ready for body pump class at the gym, I put on a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, jacket, ear warmers, leggings, long socks, mittens, and a scarf. There was part of me that was like, “Why do I need to put on so many layers to get to the gym, take them off, sweat a lot, put on these layers again and sweat even more onto my winter clothes? So much work! So much effort! Why even go to the gym when it’s this cold?! Why even exercise in the winter? The couch and the hot chocolate are calling my name” Sound familiar? I went to body pump anyway. Today let’s talk about how to make sure your motivation stays on track during these cold winter months.
When I was in high school, I guess you could say I was in the “emo” crowd. I painted my nails black, listened to scream-o, and LOVED winter. You could catch me every evening going for an hour long walk, through the snow, the wet winter leaves, and the icicles hanging from my hair. Therefore, I was continuing to get my cardio in throughout this season. Boy, how times have changed — if it was up to me we would all be required to hibernate December-March, or we would all be required to move to California. However, this is not a great attitude to have if I want to stay in shape and also protect my mental health during these cold months.
So! How do we stay motivated and inspired when the weather outside is frightful?
- Have an accountability buddy! Text your sister, join a group training at the gym, have your spouse check in with you about your workouts. If anyone here listens to Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast, you know that if you’re someone who thrives on the external expectations, then having additional support and having others help you keep your word is really important.
- Bring the workouts inside! Who says you have to workout outside or at the gym? You can make a sacred exercise space of your own in your house! Some of my favorite at home workouts include Tone It Up (cardio, strength), Blogilates (pilates, dance), and Yoga With Adriene (yoga) – all free!
- Match a workout to your favorite shows! For many, winter is the time to catch up on Netflix and tv shows you put on the back burner. Make tv watching an interactive experience. Do jumping jacks every time The Bachelor says something that annoys you, squat when Lena Dunham makes you laugh really hard in Girls. You don’t even have to leave the couch for certain exercises – you can crunch your abs while sprawled out!
- Embrace your inner child! Try to forget for a minute that wet snowy clothes need to be washed by you, and go run around outside! Go sledding with your kids, have a snowball fight, take up a new hobby like skiing or snowboarding (or my personal favorite-snowtubing!), walk in the winter wonderland, try to remember why you loved the season as a kiddo!
- As always, do what you enjoy! If you don’t like the traditional exercises, find something that you do like and make it your own. In college, I would go on the elliptical everyday for an hour. It wasn’t fun, I got bored of it quickly, and I wasn’t focused on what I was doing at all. I don’t think I realized that exercise is to be enjoyed and used as a sacred time to work on yourself and on your goals. Working out can mean the only time you get to relax and look inward all day! It doesn’t have to be a long, torturous process and it shouldn’t be.
How do you anticipate staying fit this season?