We get it. Working out in the winter is tough. It’s dreary, dark and cold. You can barely get out of bed some days, much less get your sweat on.
Consistency is key with workouts. Plus, a little exercise endorphins will help you beat winter blues and give you energy to tackle your day, kids, errands and all. Here are some tips to motivate yourself to keep working out through a St. Louis winter.
Don’t skip the warm up. Help your body acclimate to the cold quicker with an indoor warm up. Do some jumping jacks or jog in place inside for 5-10 minutes before heading out. It’ll make your winter workout more bearable and when you step outside, you’ll already be warm.
Dress in layers. Dressing for winter workouts is a catch-22. You need clothes heavy enough to keep you warm, but light enough that they don’t immediately turn you into a sauna. Wear light jackets you can tie around your waist once you’re warmed up and thermal exercise clothes designed to wick away sweat.
Protect your extremities. You lose a lot of body head through your head, and your ears, toes and hands are particularly susceptible to the cold. Don’t forget your beanies and gloves before you step outside.
Stay hydrated. While this is easy in the summer when it’s 85 degrees out, the urge to chug water isn’t quite as strong in the blistering cold. But it’s just as necessary. Make sure to stay hydrated before, during and after your workout.
Set a goal. What do you want to achieve? Are you going on a big trip? Want to run a marathon in the spring? Set your goals now to motivate you through the dreary winter months. You’ll come out miles ahead in spring.
Refresh your workout playlists. Music is great workout motivation. Switch up your workout playlists regularly so you have new tunes to power through your workouts.
Try something new. The same old routine gets boring. Try a new class, find a fitness buddy or take a running route. Switching it up will help keep your exercise routine more exciting. Plus when you sign up for a class or agree to meet a friend, you’ve committed to doing it, making it much more difficult to skip a workout.
Plan ahead. It’s easy to stay snuggled under the covers, snoozing for another hour when your alarm goes off. Beat alarm snoozes by planning your week. Schedule workouts like you do meetings, plan your meals and lay out your clothes the night before so you’re ready to jump out of bed. It may sound like a lot of work initially, but it’ll help ensure you never miss a workout.
Embrace the cold. If it’s going to be freezing you might as well take advantage of it. Research outdoor winter activities to swap for your daily workout. Snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding — they’ll make the weather more enticing and are fun for the entire family.
What are your ideas for working out through the St. Louis winter? We’d love to hear your ideas!