Staying Motivated this Winter

Today I want to address the biggest hurdle people face when it comes to getting into shape and sticking with their resolutions: MOTIVATION. Learning how to motivate yourself to be active can change your pre workout attitude.  With my clients I focus on Process Goals. With process goals you are focusing on completing X number of workouts per week rather than the results of your workout.  If you are working hard, results will come, but sometimes the lack in immediate change to your body composition can be discouraging.

Winter days are short and cold. Your body’s natural response is to hibernate,  making it more difficult to get going in the mornings or after a day of work.  In addition, the lack of sun exposure can give you a case of the winter blues.

  • Eat more Avocados.  They contain Folic Acid and B6 that stimulate Serotonin!
  • Go to sleep earlier and stick to a schedule.  The sun sets around 5:00 pm, so think about getting to sleep early and starting your day with a workout.  When you are done with your day you can relax, unwind and repeat!
  • If you are really not a morning person.  Switch to gym clothes as soon as you are off work or out of class.  The rule is, once you put on gym clothes you are obligated to exercise.  Create the mindset that “It is a SIN to wear put on a sports bra without working out”!

Rise and Grind 1

Variety is so important. Not only does it improve your health and overall physical fitness, but having a dynamic workout regimen keeps exercising fun and exciting.

  • Try something new, often.  I used to be afraid to step outside of my fitness box. I was afraid I would waste a workout or money on a trend.  Take the risk, because there is a good chance you may love spinning, yoga, body pump, etc.
  • Chose your workout based on the weather, your mood, your physical state and your schedule.  You don’t have to be rigid in your routine. If I am exhausted and sore, I go for an easy run and/or complete a yoga flow.  If it is a beautiful day, tackle a long run.  If it is snowing and 5 degrees (it has been miserable in Virginia), pop insanity into the DVD player.
  • JUST MOVE. Some days you may only have time for a 30 minute Tabata or a 3 mile run.  That is okay, just do something.

Seek social support

  • Working out with a friend creates a sense of camaraderie and accountability.  Just make sure you are teaming up with someone who pushes you rather than holds you back.
  • Try group exercise classes: working out in a group creates a sense of cohesion that can be motivating.  Not to mention the music can pump you up! Before I moved I went to the same Yoga class twice a week.  When I did not feel like walking the two blocks on winter nights, I was motivated by the fact that the instructor would notice my absence.
  • Groupon Exercise packages: Buy an exercise package on Groupon.  The fact that you need to get your money’s worth can be very motivating.

Create an exercise log or calendar

I have a Monthly Calendar hanging on my bedroom wall.  Each day I write my what workout I completed and check off the date with a magic marker. On days I don’t work out I will mention why or simply write “OFF DAY” (we all need them sometimes).  This is how I hold myself accountable and make sure I am logging enough hours in each area of fitness (Running, weight lifting, plyometric training and yoga).  You can also write how you felt during your workout.  On days I have a crappy workout, I will put a check minus.  On days I have a phenomenal workout, I will put a check plus.  Here is an example of my January Calendar as of last week. Don’t mind my errand notes or chicken scratch!

Calendar

Do keep a log of your exercises? If not, what motivates you most during the winter months?

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5 thoughts on “Staying Motivated this Winter

  1. Sometimes I jot down a rough draft of a class I am going to teach but my workouts are so unorganized I don’t usually write them down, but I’d like to start doing more cross-fit inspired workouts for time and that I have been writing down!

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