There’s no denying that summer is a better time of year for working out. It’s dry, warm, and easy to go for a run or a bike ride throughout the day or in the evening. But when the weather gets colder, working out is not always quite as easy, especially if you prefer to exercise outdoors. Shorter days and longer nights can put a limit on when you’re able to get out for some exercise, and the cold weather can certainly mess with your motivation. The good news is that working out and training throughout the winter doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several things that you can do to make sure that you have a comfortable, enjoyable experience every time.
Join the Gym:
If you’re really not a fan of working out outdoors, joining a gym is probably going to be the best step for you. This gives you access to cardio and weightlifting machines, free weights, classes, and maybe even a pool that you can access, even when the weather is freezing outside, for an enjoyable workout experience in warm conditions. Some gyms offer short-term memberships of just a few months, which are ideal if you prefer to work out outdoors during the summer and only need the use of the gym while the weather is colder. Others offer rolling contracts that can be canceled at any time, which are a better option than a fixed, year-long contract if you don’t expect to use the gym as often once the temperature starts to rise outside.
Get the Right Gear:
When you still prefer working out outside, it’s important to be prepared for the cold and sometimes wet weather that you are going to encounter. Without the right gear you could end up making yourself sick with a cold or flu, so invest in some good thermal exercise clothing to keep your body warm as you work out, and suitable training shoes that will keep you steady even if you’re working out in wet or icy conditions. If you run in public places and tend to go out after the sun sets in the evening, it’s a wise idea to invest in some high-visibility clothing or safety lights so that others can easily see you and avoid any accidents.
Work Out At Home:
If going to the gym isn’t possible for you but you’re feeling quite demotivated about the idea of going outside into the cold to train, consider a home workout plan. There are plenty of ways to exercise from the comfort of your own home. If you have a spare room, garage, or basement, you could even consider turning this into a home gym space for yourself with some free weights or home cardio machines for you to use at any time you like. Or you could turn your living room into an exercise area and work out along with a tutorial video – there are plenty on YouTube to consider. One of the main benefits of setting up an exercise space at home is that you don’t have to go anywhere to work out, which can help you stay more motivated as there are fewer steps involved in making sure that you get enough exercise.
Work Out in the Morning:
It’s easy to get demotivated when it’s going dark quite early in the evening, so changing your workout time to the morning can help you find your get up and go. Working out first thing in the morning has plenty of benefits. Not only is it lighter and often warmer than during the evening, but you’ll also enjoy better sleep and more energy throughout the day from working out at this time compared to later on.
Get a Goal to Work Towards:
If you are struggling with your motivation for working out throughout the winter, setting a long-term goal to work towards can be one of the best ways to keep you going. Consider signing up for a sporting event in a few months’ time that you’re going to need to train hard for throughout the winter. A spring or summer marathon or triathlon, for example, can be a great goal to have in mind to keep you going by giving you something to work for rather than simply training for the sake of it. If you’re not really into events, set yourself a personal goal, like improving your workout time by a certain date, or losing a certain amount of weight for the summer. If you’ve got a summer event to look forward to, like a friend’s wedding or a vacation, this can be a great goal to improve your body for if you need an extra push.
Sleeping well is important at any time of year, and it’s even more crucial when you are training hard throughout the winter. When you work out in colder weather, your body needs to use more energy to keep you warm, so making sure that you’re replenishing that energy with 7-9 hours of sleep every night is extremely important. As the weather gets colder, you’re more prone to getting colds and flu, so it’s worth considering ways to prevent sleeping with a stuffy nose including putting a humidifier in your bedroom and doing some breathing exercises that can help to clear your nasal passageways and make breathing easier when you’re sleeping at night.
Eat a Balanced Diet:
Just like your sleep, what you eat is also important to fuel your body with the energy and nutrients that it needs to keep you going when working out in the colder weather. Winter is often full of holiday treats and indulgent meals, but it’s important to stick to a healthy and balanced diet wherever you can to support your workouts and make sure that your body is nourished.
Working out in the summer can be an easy, enjoyable experience- but in the winter, it’s cold, wet, and miserable. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to make training hard in the cold just as enjoyable as it is in the sunshine.