How to stay motivated to exercise during the winter

The clocks have been pushed back, the days are shorter, the temperatures are colder and motivation is hard to find. This can only mean one thing- winter is officially upon us *welcomes with open arms*.
Unfortunately, winter can even discourage the most motivated exercisers and it can become really easy to pack away your lycra leggings and dri-fit clothing for some extra moments with your hot water bottle and duvet. Most people dread winter training but strangely enough, I really enjoy it.
I actually prefer winter training to summer training. Why? Well “hot bodies are made in cold conditions”, that’s why.
From past experience, I’ve found that my body responds to exercise much faster during the winter than in the summer. I haven’t figured out why this is, but knowing that this is the case, I’m making sure that my winter training doesn’t go in vain.

I’ll be completely honest though, I do have the odd occasional days where I can’t be bothered and would rather stay at home, but there are certain things I do to stop this from happening which I will list below:
1.    Going to work out straight from work
If you’re like me, then you know that once you get into your house and it’s warm, you’re not going to leave again. So, plan to workout straight after work. This should allow you to avoid the temptation of staying at home. Plus, I always see it as; I didn’t carry my heavy gym bag around me all day to not make use of it.
2.    Dressing appropriately
When you think about it, once you start working out, you actually can’t feel the cold, so the weather shouldn’t really be an excuse. However, you should invest in some thermal clothing, socks and gloves to keep those key areas warm. Also, wear layers that can easily be removed once you start to sweat. You don’t want that chilly feeling once you’re dry and your clothes are still wet because that way you’ll catch a cold.
3.    Home workouts
Why not exercise in the comfort of your own home. If you don’t own any fitness DVD’s YouTube is your best friend. There are tons of fitness workouts online that you could try, which don’t require any equipment. Im currently doing the ‘500 Core Ab Circuit’ at home, which I will upload in a separate post.
4.    Revisiting goals
I use this time to reflect on my progress over the last few months and decide what I want to accomplish before the seasons over. For example, one of my new short term goals, before the end of the year, is to be able to do full chin ups from a dead hang position, because I currently can only do them from a 90 degree angle. By re-evaluating your goals you can analyse how far away from them you are. It may be the case that you realise your short term goals have changed and you want to accomplish something new within the next few months. This should keep you on your toes and see the new season as a new challenge.
5.    Rewards
So once I’ve reached my goal, I plan to treat myself. I haven’t decided on the treat yet but I know the treat will not undermine my efforts. So no, I will not be treating myself to a trip to Hagen Daz lol but you get the idea…
6.    Try something new
I want to take my training to another level so I’m going to join a CrossFit gym and I’ve also started pole. Trying something new doesn’t have to be life changing; it can be as little as changing your fitness regime or trying a new piece of gym equipment. Either way, adding something new might be another way to stay motivated to exercise in winter.
7.    Buddy up
I currently work out with different people. For example, I work out with specific people when I’m doing legs, when I’m doing arms, and when I’m doing cardio. Just make sure whoever you’re working out with, has the same goals as you. Working out with someone else will give you a reason to keep going and to stay motivated as you won’t want to let them down as well as yourself.
There are probably loads more other things you could do, but these are the main ones that have and are currently working for me.
Why not try incorporating a few or all of these into your current regime and see if they help you stay motivated this winter.