BY MEMBERSHIP REP JEFF MILLER
The alarm goes off. You reach your hand out from under the piles of blankets to push snooze (or shut off the alarm for you morning people) and you’re immediately reminded of the cold weather. Even with the heat on in the house, that chill is noticeable. The big question presents itself: to work out or to stay warm in bed for a few extra minutes?
This all-to-common scenario happens to each one us once the mercury takes a nosedive and the days get shorter. We want to stay inside and many of us find every excuse to not get up and exercise. However, we know once we start, we will never regret it.
Here are some tips on how to stay motivated during the colder months.
If you are like most and don’t want to leave your warm bed in the dark of the early morning, try this trick. Set your thermostat to warm up your house before you wake up, so the transition to getting up is easier. Throw those workout clothes in the dryer for a few minutes to trick your body into wanting to venture out into the cold.
Move your phone or alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once out of bed, stay out of bed.
While you’re up, run in place; do some jumping jacks or get on the floor for some quick push-ups. These quick activities will get your heart rate up and the warm up will motivate you to continue.
Don’t fall into the “I’ll start on New Year’s” trap. Throughout the winter and inevitable holiday season, be sure to watch your diet.
This is the time of year where hearty comfort food comes into play. Typically, those types of food are heavy and filling, causing us to be lethargic, unmotivated and prone to overeating (and gaining extra pounds). Watch what you eat and keep it as healthy as possible. Getting a lot of holiday party invites? Volunteer to bring a side or an appetizer, so you have complete control over one portion of the food being offered. Keeping your food intake in check during this season will allow you to stay energized to exercise and motivated to get out of the house (braving the cold) to keep up with your fitness regimen.
Try something new. Variety truly is the spice of life so use that tactic to your advantage. Not only does it confuse your muscles and push you, it will help keep you motivated. Colder weather is a great opportunity to try indoor fitness classes like yoga, tai chi, boot camp – even aqua classes. These classes will help you build strength and improve stamina that gets depleted from stress during the holiday season. Exercise also helps boost immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active.
With shorter days, colder temps and less “time” during the busy season, don’t throw in the towel and decide to give up with the intentions of starting again in the New Year. Come up with little goals. Shorten or condense your workouts. Do more of them throughout the day or week. Do workout simple fitness challenges with friends. Shorter work outs or simple exercises done throughout the day will be much easier to maintain when the sky is dark before you’re home for the evening.
Need more ideas? We offer Small Group Personal Training all year long. Sign up with a friend and you’ll both be motivated to keep it up – plus, you’ll just feel better. We’ve also got a ton of Large Group Fitness Classes that are free for members; Video On Demand workouts that allow members to work out remotely with their favorite trainers for free; personal training; and so much more. If you have questions or concerns or just don’t know where to start or how to switch up a workout, contact a trainer for tips. We’re here to help.
Soon enough, you’ll be back to hopping out of bed to enjoy a beautiful summer morning. Until then, get up, bundle up and get down to business.