Winter, I just can’t quit you.
Scratch that. It’s more like: Winter, you just can’t quit me (or any of us).
Because, um, snowing your arse off in March is not cool, Robert Frost. Well, actually, it’s really, really cool, but you know what I mean.
I feel like this winter has been a colossal test to my motivation. The cold temps have affected my workouts, my eats and even how much I leave the comfy warmth of my house. But, in this winter that just won’t quit, I’ve learned a few lessons that I think are worth sharing. At the very least, if you’re someone still stuck in a polar vortex, hopefully they’ll help you to stay motivated, too!
1. Have a list of things that motivate you. Winter is the perfect time to set a really big goal that’ll get you up and moving to train for and work towards. If that’s not working though, get a great workout playlist together, watch inspirational clips from the Winter Olympics, and make plans to give yourself a reward for busting out your winter workouts. Make a list of all the reasons why working out in winter is important to you — and go deeper than looking good in a bikini. While that’s a perk, I know from personal experience that it won’t get you out of bed when it’s 5 degrees out.
2. Take a vacation if you can. I find that planning a vacation to somewhere warmer in February is just the break I need from the coldness to get me through winter with a better attitude. Plus, while on vacation somewhere warmer, you’ll be more than jazzed to work out. (Scenery like this helps … )
3. Squeeze it in. You get so snowed in that you can’t get your car off the street, let alone drive to the gym? Conditions outside are blizzard-esque? Been there. Now is the time to bust out a workout DVD or even do just 10 burpees. Just do something to keep working out a normal part of your life.
4. Have a back-up plan. If you’re like me, you like to schedule your workouts and really think about what you’re doing and when. But winter can throw a wrench in all those plans. So instead of being caught with your workout-plan pants down, always have a workout you can do in your back pocket. Get some suggestions here — or check out No. 9 …
5. Look at the weather north of you. Think you live in the coldest place ever? I bet not. In fact, I bet there are millions who live north of you who are being active in way colder and more harsh conditions. Kristen hipped me to this blog recently, and it’s really helped to motivate me to get out and actually enjoy winter! It’s all about perspective.
6. Be even more mindful of your true hunger. With less daylight and colder temps, it’s tempting to stay in and cook — and eat a lot. I’ve been way into baking lately, which has led to more sugar in my diet … which has led to stronger sugar and carb cravings. More than ever, winter is the time to dial in to your true hunger and to make sure you’re getting all your fruits and veggies in (and not just carb loading for the next snow storm). If salads aren’t doing it for you, try this warm one instead!
7. Invest in the right gear. If you want to run outside in the winter wonderland (and you should — it can be so peaceful!), invest in quality warm gear and the right footwear. Totes worth it.
8. Stand more. Formal workouts count, but so do the little things when it comes to staying fit in winter! So set up that standing desk, take a break every hour at work to do a minute of jumping jacks, jump rope during commercial breaks — do what you can to sit less!
9. Shoveling is one heck of a workout. When you’re snowed in, the best workout is shoveling. So get out there and clear your driveway and sidewalks. Bonus workout (and karma!) points if you do your neighbor’s, too. Just be sure to bend those knees and use those legs and not just your back to heave-ho that snow!
10. Try to see the beauty in it. Winter — with all of its snowy perfection and ice-covered branches — can be incredibly beautiful. Focus on the beauty all around you, and be appreciative that Mother Nature gives you a visual reminder that time is constantly moving and is precious. Because, really, spring will be here before you know it.
Did this winter test your healthy mojo motivation? How have you got through it/how are you getting through it? —Jenn