Do you get that sinking feeling when the weather starts to cool? Don’t despair, it’s totally normal to feel sluggishness creeping up when winter rolls around.
Studies show that serotonin production slows down in winter. Since this neurotransmitter plays a major role in banishing depression, it’s not surprising that we all feel a little low at this time of year.
One of the best ways to boost your serotonin levels back to normal is with exercise.
So resist the urge to crawl back under the covers, or laze on the couch all day, and keep reading for seven tips to help you stay fit in the wintertime.
Tips For Staying Fit In The Wintertime
Here are our top tips for staying fit and full of energy all year round:
1. Plan To Succeed
If you’re serious about staying fit, you must have a plan and stick to it. However, be sure to adjust your goals to correspond with what’s realistically possible, or pleasant, in winter.
During the coldest parts of the year, rather confine your fitness sessions to the gym or other indoor area. You’re going to have a hard time convincing yourself to embark on outdoor exercise when it’s below zero outside.
It all starts with figuring out how to properly set fitness goals that you can stick to no matter the weather.
So, rather base your aims on time-based achievements such as jogging 5 miles, rather than 10 circuits of a track you can’t get to in the snow.
2. Team Up
There’s always safety in numbers when it comes to winter workouts. Enlist a fitness buddy or join a group of like-minded winter workout warriors.
When you train in a group, you can help keep each other motivated during those dark, dreary days.
You’re also less likely to skip out on a workout when you know others are counting on you. And you don’t want them to think of you as lacking commitment.
3. Make It Easy To Rise-And-Shine
If you need to get up early to exercise, at least make it pleasant for yourself.
You can do this by adjusting your HVAC thermostat to a higher temperature, so you don’t feel intimidated by the cold from the moment you open your eyes.
When you arise to a warm room, getting out of bed doesn’t seem half as bad.
You can also place your workout gear close to a heater or warm air vent so they feel warm and inviting when you put them on.
4. Change Your Routine
If it’s the early morning darkness that gets you down, rather switch up your routine for winter.
Instead of heading to the gym or pounding the pavement as soon as you wake up, exercise during your lunch break.
A quick workout in the middle of the day can really boost your mood and get you through the inevitable afternoon slump. Even a short workout will push you one step further toward your fitness goals.
5. Focus On Staying Fit Mentally
Try forgetting about the pounds and the miles when measuring your fitness achievements. Instead, consider how much better you feel when you exercise.
Sometimes, your body clings to those extra few pounds in the wintertime (it is insulation after all).
So, rather take satisfaction in the other benefits you’re gaining from your workouts, like improved mood, the company of friends, and simple enjoyment.
6. Indoor Exercising Tips
A heated indoor pool is one of the best places to get your winter exercise. It’s like a hot bath and a workout rolled into one.
Swimming’s a fantastic low-impact full-body workout and it’s even better when the water’s warm.
If you’re stuck at home or can’t bear to go out, change up your workout routine by live streaming different exercise classes. The instructors create a fantastic vibe during these sessions, and you can choose from a host of exercise genres.
Even if you only do a little every day, you can maintain your summer fitness throughout the winter months.
If all else fails, invest in a treadmill to keep you going when the weather’s playing foul outside.
7. Find Fun Winter Activities
There are plenty of ways to exercise and enjoy yourself at the same time in winter. Try ice-skating, snow-skiing, or snowboarding for a fun-filled workout.
Whenever you head outside, be sure to dress the part. Your thick warm clothing quickly becomes an uncomfortably hot prison when you’re active.
Dress in layers, so you can whip some off as you warm up and then put them on again after your workout.
Here’s how to dress for the best effect:
- Bottom layer – moisture-wicking polypropylene or polyester;
- Second layer – an insulating layer of wool or fleece garments;
- Top layer – a wind and rain repellant jacket.
Remember a cap or winter hat to prevent warmth from escaping via your head and always wear gloves if you’re venturing out in extreme conditions.
A good pair of sturdy running shoes is essential in any weather.
Walking and running can provide hours of enjoyment if you like admiring winter scenes but remember to stick to clear sidewalks. Outdoor conditions are sometimes treacherous when the weather’s snowy.
Always warm-up and stretch properly before you get started. You can damage your muscles by snapping them into action when it’s cold out.
Armed with a positive mindset and a little creativity, you’re bound to find plenty of enjoyable ways to stay fit in the wintertime.
Dropping temperatures don’t mean your fitness levels have to drop as well. The above tips will guide you on staying fit in the wintertime.
Staying fit is a commitment that you must stick to all year round. If you don’t tough it out during the winter months, you’ll find yourself back at square one.
Don’t let all your hard work over the last few months fizzle out in the face of a little cold.
If you need some extra inspiration on how to stay fit no matter what, browse our blog for more top fitness tips and information.