It’s almost nonsensical for anyone to ask you to leave the comfort of your home to go exercise outside. Except that it’s not! Winter shouldn’t be an excuse to not stay healthy, even if the weather is unfriendly. Outdoor activities are great for both our mental and physical health - It’s unwise to be inactive as that could raise your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. There are several tricks you can learn to survive winter without being inactive too frequently. Motivating yourself to move during the winter months is easier than you’d imagine.
When your alarm goes off and it’s pitch black outside with the temperature hovering well below 50°F, getting out of the house to exercise is a big ask. But, given the fact that you may be faced with such weather for a (sadly) large part of the year, it’s important to learn how to help motivate yourself to stay active during the winter months. Here are 6 tips that can work for you.
1. Invest in the Right Winter Exercise Kit
Good clothing options will erase any concerns around bad weather. Important winter activewear includes some quality gloves, exercise shoes, running socks, thermal leggings, moisture-wicking clothes, and headbands. Dress for the weather before heading outdoors and you significantly lower the possibility of catching a cold or slipping on wet outdoor surfaces. That will inspire your confidence and unleash your motivation. Besides, investing in some new workout gear will definitely motivate you to take them out for a spin, regardless of the weather. If you plan to go mountain biking at this time, consider investing in a bicycle motor kit, as it will definitely be more suitable for snowy mountain terrain. It’s always important to stay safe, and snowy terrain can be quite unpredictable.
2. Keep your Gear by your Bed the Night Before
After taking the new training gear for a spin, don’t keep them out of sight. Place them by your bed or in your home’s high traffic areas so that they will be the first items you see when you wake up. You’ll be tempted to take them out for another spin and by the time you’re taking them out for the 10th time, you’ll already have a daily exercise routine - a routine that you won’t be able to quit.
3. Remind Yourself of the Long-Term Benefits of Exercise
Some people like to have a fit body by the time summer comes, but not many people are willing to get out and exercise in the winter. It’s important to keep in mind that exercising isn’t just about your exterior appearance. Remember that maintaining a consistent exercise routine all year round will ensure that you stay healthy and reduce the risk of getting chronic diseases that inactivity may bring.
4. Exercise with Friends or Family
When you exercise with loved ones, the harshness of winter is reduced. It’s a good way of keeping your kids engaged and active. There are plenty of activities that you can try. From jumping rope, balloon games, and even paintballing. Playing paintball is particularly fun because it can be played by people of all ages. Everyone loves to hit the range and compete with family. You can even have a safe and socially distanced match with your friend group. Making exercise fun, interactive and competitive can make it fun for everyone involved!
5. Create a Support System Around You
Buddy up with a colleague or your significant other. Your partner can motivate you to get outside no matter how cold and dark it is. He/she will hold you accountable. If you don’t have a partner or if your friends are engaged elsewhere, join a (safe) social workout club. A good support system will ensure that you maintain your exercising momentum throughout the winter.
6. Eat Right
Don’t skip any meals. Eat a nutritious breakfast every morning. Ensure that you consume sufficient healthy fats, vitamins, and protein. Take any supplements you need (consult your doctor if you’re unsure) regularly and ensure that you’re doing everything right for your health. Eating well will boost your immune system and strengthen your bones, so you will not fall ill or slip-up as a result of winter’s harsh weather. Also, not eating junk foods will keep your sugar levels stable and keep your heart healthy, so you’ll always be in the right shape for winter outdoor exercising.
Stay Active this Winter
It’s challenging to be active during winter, but it’s not impossible. Don’t wait until it’s hot to go exercising outdoors. Hit the road even when it’s cold, dark, or rainy outside. You might need to avoid dangerous terrains (like mountain climbing) by hitting the park or by running around your neighborhood is safe and fun.