How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise in Winter
In the middle of a cold dark winter, it is hard to motivate yourself to exercise. It’s difficult to leave the house for work and it’s so tempting to rush home to hide under a duvet! However, the benefits of exercise can not be ignored and could help you feel better in the winter. Regular exercise can help boost your immune system. If you exercise in winter, you could be less likely to suffer from colds. The positive endorphins from exercise will also help to boost your mood.
So how do you get yourself off the sofa and burning some calories? The common theme we need as humans is a motivation to do an activity.
Find Your Motivation
As we all have different interests and abilities, the exercise we do needs to fit in with our lifestyle and desires. If you don’t currently exercise, what is your reason for starting? Focus on that reason and find ways to encourage the thought. For example, do you have a holiday planned in spring and want to be in shape for that? Why not pin a holiday picture on your fridge.
Could you be motivated by food or gifts? If there are foods you crave or small gifts you’d like, plan these is an exercise reward. Set targets such as 3 exercise sessions a week and you are allowed a reward like a manicure or a meal out.
If you struggle to motivate yourself, turn to other people. Find a friend who will exercise with you. Join a class or a running club. If starting an exercise regime feels intimidating then working with a personal trainer can help. Committing to a block of personal training sessions can be a great motivation to get started. With professional support, it will give you added confidence and improve your attitude to exercise.
Try Something New
A new challenge can be great for body and mind. In the winter, we are more likely to feel low and need to be encouraged by positive mental boosts. Trying something new doesn’t need to be complex or expensive. It could be as simple as going for a brisk morning walk before work or trying a new workout on YouTube. If you are motivated by achievements, write a list of new things to try in a month and plan when you will do them.
Make it Fun
Exercise doesn’t need to feel like something to endure. To encourage you to exercise in winter, try and inject some fun into your workouts. It could be as simple as creating a new and upbeat playlist you can listen to while exercising. Or get that games console out and do some boxing or dancing in your living room. If you like dancing, set yourself 30 mins with a dance playlist and boogie around the house.
Think back to the activities you enjoyed as a child. If you liked skipping, get a rope and find a safe place to jump! We can often think we are too busy to commit to group sport activities, but these can be a great motivation.
Don’t go out running for miles in the rain and make yourself miserable. Start with 10 minutes of exercise at home or in a gym. Run up the stairs or do 10 minutes on the exercise bike. You may then want to do more. If you like the idea of getting outside, start with a bright morning if you can. Try and make positive associations with exercise and aim for little and often.
Need Help and Support?
A personal trainer is a great starting point to help get you and keep you motivated for exercise in winter. With support, you can identify your health and wellbeing targets to have a clear aim to work towards.