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woman exercising in cold weather

Staying Fitness Motivated in Colder Months

woman exercising in cold weather

Fall is here. Winter is just around the corner. And many of us are still in lockdown mode, working and learning from home. With every day feeling the same, it can be challenging to keep up any sort of motivation to move.

But physical activity is an important part of staying healthy—and staying healthy is essential right now as we move into colder winter months, when we're not necessarily getting enough vitamin D from natural sunlight, and where the flu and worse can thrive.

This handy infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights various activities and how they work to prevent chronic illness. While they're quite useful—adding workouts to your daily schedule, starting slowly and building up over time, gaining support from friends and family—I thought I'd add a few more to the list.

Here's to keeping you motivated as the days shrink and the barometer drops.

Warm yourself up

If you're exercising outside, it's a good idea to do some warmups inside first so your heart rate is up and your body is literally warmed up before you brace for the cold. It also helps loosen your muscles, decreasing your chances for injury.

Take a walk

Most fitness professionals advise 5-6 days per week of activity, but here's the thing: This activity doesn't have to make you sweat, use crazy weights, or follow a high-octane fitness video to feel the impact. It can simply be a daily 20-minute walk through your neighborhood or at a local park. Bundle up, get some fresh air, and before you know it you'll wonder how you ever lived without those daily walks.

Treat yourself

Sneakers falling apart? Workout clothes tattered—or worse, stinky? Treat yourself to some new gear, and display it prominently in your closet. If you've made time for exercise each morning, set your workout clothes out the night before and throw them on when you wake up. You'll already be halfway there, dressed for movement!

Explore something new

There's nothing that dampens motivation more than a workout rut. If you're active but have been dreading your workouts, opt for something new. Love yoga but want to take a break? Try Pilates. Want to bump up your HIIT workouts? Add some kickboxing. YouTube has curated playlists for every type of workout, and there's tons of free apps with workouts for all levels. Bonus: You don't even have to be in front of the TV. Just grab your phone wherever you are and hit Play.

Remember your why

Fitness trainer Jillian Michaels says this in each of her workouts as a reminder to ask yourself, "What's your why?" Your why IS your motivation. It's what makes you lace up those sneakers and get moving. Once you find your why, make it your motivation mantra. It'll keep you moving, even in winter.


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