7 Tips for Winter Exercise
Winter brings easy excuses to avoid exercise: It’s cold; it’s dark; it’s snowing; I’m tired (that works any time of year, but in winter, those warm blankets feel so cozy when the alarm goes off).
Don't let the weather put a chill on your exercise routine. Here are some tips for successful winter exercise.
Eyes on the Prize
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should fall short on your diet or exercise. Achieving your spring/summer goals will be even harder if you slouch now. Track your calories and adjust your exercise intensity to match your intake.
A positive attitude can carry you far. To help you maintain enthusiasm, write down a list of reasons to exercise, and post the list somewhere that you can see it every day, such as on your bathroom mirror. Make your goals concrete, such as:
- I want to get down to a 32-inch waistline
- I want to fit into that dress by Valentine’s Day
- I want to decrease my weight and cholesterol (make sure you take measurements)
What to Wear
When exercising outdoors in the cold, choice of clothing is essential for safety and comfort. Choose moisture-wicking and lightweight pieces that allow you to layer appropriately without bogging you down.
Be honest with yourself and make a plan that will help you be successful. If you hate exercising after work because you’re tired and hungry, plan to get it done before work. If you’re not an early-bird, be honest and realize a 5 am workout isn’t likely to happen. Establish a routine that will help you reach your goal.
When illness strikes, try to stick to your routine as much as possible. If you have a cold, continue to exercise (unless your physician advises against it), but change the intensity or type. Try walking instead of running, or stretching instead of weightlifting. This approach will allow your body to rest while maintaining consistency in your workout schedule.
Find a Partner
If you’re accountable to someone else, you’re less likely to skip workouts. Choose someone who is a good motivator – for both of you. If your partner isn’t motivated, he or she will drag you down, and you may not hit your goals. If you partner with someone who shares your goals and ambitions, you’ll both be happier and more successful.
Refine Your Form
Winter may not be the time to log miles on your running shoes or chase golf balls across the links, but it’s a great time to work on your form indoors. Consider having a running gait or golf swing analysis, which can help you make gains when the weather begins to cooperate.