Did you know that the body naturally starts to store fat during the winter months? Yeah, I know it sucks to hear that.
I mean we’re already unmotivated when it’s extremely cold outside, there’s snow falling everywhere, you have to put 7 layers on just to survive, it gets dark at 4 pm AND on top of all of that you’re saying I’m predisposed to put on weight when the weather drops too now?!
It’s not fair and it’s definitely not right but the good news is that there are things we can do to combat this unfairness.
How do we get our endorphins rushing again like the way it seems to occur more naturally after the holidays and in the summer?
Well here are some of the top winter workout tips that you can use to combat your winter blues and avoid weight gain!
Do winter activities
This one seems like a no brainer because it’s winter and we want to be active but it’s that much harder to get outside and actually do things when your body is screaming otherwise.
The best way to actually accomplish this is to actually schedule whatever activity you choose to do ahead of time thus making it a priority and not simply a write-off. So, whether it’s something as simple as a walk outside or something more intense like downhill skiing, schedule it and make sure you show up!
Set aside some time in your week to be outside and to do things that you can’t do any other time but during the winter months (aka walking in the snow along a trail or skiing outside).
Stay dry – not necessarily warm!
When you’re clothes are all wet, no one feels like working out so, it’s incredibly important that while doing an outdoor activity, you should dress to stay dry first.
Keeping warm is just as important but the main precedence should be to wear material that will allow you to stay dry as this determines how long you will be warm and comfortable for. An essential way to stay dry is to wear corresponding material that serves this very function.
Moisture wicking material (vs. say cotton which will stay wet and draw heat away from the body) such as thinsulate, polyester, thermax, wool, and polypropylene are your best bet during the colder and wetter months to keep you dry and warmer.
And always remember to warm up prior to beginning any exercise as this will increase your body temperature thus improving limb blood flow and muscle compliance.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the most extreme type of weather before actually venturing outside. The chances of you not attempting or even quitting a workout because you’re too cold will then, not be an option.
The best way to prepare is by wearing multiple layers (depending upon the activity and location of the exercise that you’re doing) while choosing the right layers is essential for staying dry and comfortable.
Always wear the tightest layer that you have on, closest to your skin. This will retain heat and prevent it from escaping on a continuous basis. Make sure, as stated above, that this layer is moisture wicking and not made from cotton or cotton like material.
The next layers are the ones that will depend upon the activity that you choose – so for example, if you are going for a run outdoors, have on a breathable waterproof and wind resistant jacket (with reflective details if you are running outside of daylight timings), along with gloves, hat/ear muffs, a scarf (that you can take off and wrap around your waist once you start to overheat) and a good pair of sneakers with grip and moisture wicking socks underneath.
Go do a workout with friends
Do you normally do this? If so than how is this tip helpful? Well for people who regularly do this, do you ever find that those friends may be harder to get a hold of during the holiday’s or when it’s cold outside? If not, then great! It means you’re probably being held accountable.
But if no one is around to hold you accountable than you more likely than not to flake out and sit back and tend to things other than yourself.
Remember that by working out you’re making yourself a priority and that should be at the top of your list. One of the best ways to be held accountable and to simply ‘show up’ is by doing an activity (old or new) with a friend (or friends!) who is depending upon you to be there.
Mix up your routine
Sometimes when you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, the repetitive nature starts to bother you and makes you feel unmotivated at the same time.
Instead of not working out altogether use the winter season as an opportunity to try something new or something that is old but you haven’t done in a while again. This way you’ll be more focused and engaged with your training, no matter the activity at hand.
So if you’re used to running on a treadmill, try a group fitness class instead. Or if you prefer to try something new outside, look up local activities that occur within your community during the winter months and sign up and try them out. You might be surprised at what a welcome change it is to your otherwise regular schedule.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated (even if you don’t necessarily feel like it) should be something that is regularly maintained throughout the winter days. This holds especially true for the moments during which you choose to exercise or while doing any moderate type of activity.
Your body and mind require the nutrients obtained from water to fuel your purpose for whatever task at hand. Plus, it’s a cheap and convenient!
Set a big goal