It’s tough maintaining your exercise regime at any time of the year. However, the dark and cold evenings and mornings make maintaining an exercise routine during the winter months much harder.
If you are tempted to give up exercising during the winter, don’t do it!
Exercising during the winter months may not be as much fun as exercising at other times of the year but it’s important to maintain a regular exercise routine whatever the temperatures are outside.
If you are struggling to maintain your regimen here are some tips to help you keep going:
Dress for the conditions outside – when it starts to get cold outside simply swap your summer gear for clothing appropriate for the colder weather. In addition, make sure that you wrap up well. Your extremities, such as head and fingers, may need extra protection requiring you to invest in appropriate hat and gloves;
Exercise indoors – if you can, warm up or work out as much as possible, indoors. Winter might be the time to work out in the garage, if there is space, and if you have exercise bike this is the time to use it. You could even try taking up an indoor sport such as badminton, fencing, five-a-side football, squash or swimming. And most neighbourhoods have regular fitness classes where you will be made most welcome;
Get an exercise buddy – know anyone else who works out on a regular basis? The chances are that if you are struggling to maintain your exercise regime during the winter months, they will be too. If you have an exercise buddy, when it’s really cold, the chances are that you will continue with your exercise regime as you will not want to let your exercise buddy down;
Stay safe – Suffering an injury due to difficult conditions outside could put an end to your exercise regime, at least for a while. So, it makes sense to take some precautions. Avoid distractions like listening to music while you are outside. This makes you more aware of your environment, hidden hazards and other road users. It also it is advisable to wear reflective material when outside in the dark to avoid road accidents;
Feeling unwell – Often there are more cold and flu viruses circulating during the winter months and you probably should not exercise if you are suffering from severe cold or flu. If you are suffering moderate symptoms you may not need to stop exercising altogether. Simply cut back until you are feeling better;
Positive thinking – never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Just tell yourself that there’s nothing better than a great workout routine and that you will feel fantastic at the end of it. That way you will feel more positive about your workout session and be less likely to be bothered about the cold;
Promise yourself a big fat reward – one thing that works wonders is promising yourself a reward when you reach your goals or achieved a certain milestone on the way to achieving your goals. These goals could be something as simple as following your workout routine for a month without interruption, losing a certain amount of weight or achieving a certain level of fitness. Rewards can be anything from buying yourself that gift you’ve always wanted, dining in your favourite restaurant or buying yourself something that will enhance your exercise regime;
Sustaining your exercise regime when the weather outside is cold and unpleasant is not easy. However, if you employ the methods outlined above, your training will not have to suffer in the winter months. This means that when the weather does start to improve outside, you will not only be able to reach a higher level of fitness, but you get more out of your workouts, too.