It’s really easy to lose your motivation to workout when you’d rather stay warm and cozy under your blanket than get out of bed and venture into the chilly world beyond your comforter. Can’t say I blame you on this one!
Winter can be a tough time for fitness goals. On one hand, you’ve just come out of the holiday indulgence season. On the other hand, it’s just so cold and blah outside.
If you want to be successful through this tricky time of year, you need to adjust your thinking. Here are a few reasons why— despite the coldness and blahness of January/February— I still believe that winter workouts are super awesome:
- Winter workouts reinforce the importance of a good warm-up. Let’s be real here – sometimes we skip the warm-up (not advocating for it, just telling it like it is), especially when we’re time-crunched. Nothing like the freezing cold temps to remind us why a warm-up is so critical. First, it mentally prepares you for movement when you’d rather be under the covers. But most importantly, it prepares your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments for safe movement when they’re extra chilly and otherwise extremely vulnerable to damage. As tempting as it may be to charge out there and get it done, be sure to spend a few minutes inside doing simple, gentle dynamic movements to get your heart and other muscles ready to brave the chilly air to limit the amount of unnecessary stress you place on your body.
- Think playtime. Believe it or not, there’s a ton of physical activity involved in winter sports: ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, snowman-making and even snowball fighting. The best part? It all feels way more like fun than exercise! Get out there and spend some quality time with friends and family and remember what it felt like to just have fun being physically active. Trust me, you’ll barely even notice that you’re working out.
- You can kill two birds with one stone. It’s not super glamorous but sometimes your workout doubles as your chores. One word: shoveling. Other than raking leaves in the fall, no other season comes close to letting you check two things off your list the way winter snow shoveling does. It’s strength and cardio all neatly-packaged in a way that’ll have you feeling super productive when you’re all done.
- They build mental toughness. There really is nothing like completing a run when conditions are less than favorable to boost your confidence. Yes, sometimes it really sucks during the workout but there’s something to be said for the self-esteem boost and toughness you develop from braving the elements, dodging snow banks, and safely avoiding those frozen puddles— not to mention all the funny stories of frozen hair and accidental ice-skating you’ll have to share with folks. Tough runs build grit and help you to learn how to keep moving when the going gets rough.
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