How to Stay on Track This Winter
Winter can present a real challenge to our workout goals. The warmer weather of summer makes it easier to respond to an alarm before the sun rises for the day. And the longer daylight hours make getting home, grabbing a snack, then heading out for a run or a workout a far more inviting proposition than heading out in the wet weather and rain.
We’re all human. No one really enjoys hitting the pavement or going back out when it’s cold and windy. But winter lasts long enough that not making the most of it will put a real roadblock on your fitness goals.
So, to help with that, we’ve had an in-depth conversation among ourselves, talked to other highly motivated individuals and put together a list of practical, handy things you can try. The goal? To stay on track with all of your fitness goals this winter.
Let’s get into the list.
Get Those Goals Back Out
By May and June, when the weather starts to really cool down, those new year’s resolutions feel like a distant memory. Resolutions made in warm, pleasant weather after the rush of Christmas is over might even be long forgotten by those colder months.
But chances are you made them for a reason. And chances are you still want to achieve them. So now is as good a time as any to revisit them. And not just revisit them. Write them down somewhere prominent and post them there. It might be on a post-it on your bathroom mirror, on your side table, or on your fridge.
The best way to stick to your fitness goals is to have them somewhere where you’re reminded of them regularly. And this tactic works even better if you share it with someone. Which, if you’re posting it somewhere public like the mirror or fridge, you will be!
Make it Easy
The chilly mornings make it easy to fall out of good exercise and workout habits. And the cold evenings make it far more tempting to head inside and stay there at the end of the day than to get changed and head out to a boot camp or a challenge class.
So, the key is to make the exercise as convenient as possible. What are some practical ways to do this?
Well, first of all, put your alarm somewhere that forces you to get out of your warm bed in the morning to turn it off. If you can roll over, stick your arm out from under the covers and hit snooze, chances are you’re not getting to that morning workout!
Next, make sure your gym clothes are at the foot of your bed and that your gym bag is next to the door, picked, packed and ready to go. Put your shoes and socks there, too, and you’ve already made it far easier for yourself.
And if you work out in the afternoons or evenings, the same principles apply. Have your pre-workout snack ready to go, pack your bag in the morning before you leave home and block out your calendar or appointment book so that you give yourself enough time to leave work and make your scheduled time in the gym.
If you do these things, pretty soon, you’ll be making brand new winter workout habits and getting yourself back on track.
Knock Over Those Dominos
Dominos (the game, not the fast-food outlet) are a great visual representation of momentum. It turns out that as humans, our brains are wired to respond positively to ‘streaks’ of wins. That’s why some of the most popular social media platforms use this insight to get us to use their products more.
You can do this for yourself by something incredibly simple and low-tech: a checklist. Put the date on one row and a circle with a tick inside it every time you work out or meet a fitness goal. Pretty soon, you won’t want to lose that ‘streak’ that you’ve started. Sounds too simple and boring to work, but it does. And if you want to do this on your phone, the sheer number of goal tracking app options out there will prove to you that this is a proven way to keep yourself on track!
Group fitness is part of successful workout routines because of the social element. Lockdowns and social distancing proved how much we need social connection. That desire also helps keep us on track with fitness goals. Working out with a friend or partner keeps you both accountable to one another.
And of course, group fitness takes this to the next level with the community aspect, one of the main reasons that social fitness classes are so popular and growing across the country.
Work with A Pro
Workout plateaus and boredom with a routine can be real motivation killers. But to help shake you out of that sort of rut, it can help to work with a personal trainer for a few weeks. They can suggest new exercises, challenges and milestones to aim for. And that shake-up in routine and a new challenge can work really well to get you back on track, especially during winter.
Give Yourself A Target
Those who train for marathons know that a goal with a set date is incredibly motivating. When it’s cold, windy, rainy (or all of the above), the ‘why’ can be hard. Giving yourself a target like an event or a strength goal by a certain date is a great way to give yourself that ‘why’. The goal should be challenging enough that it can only be done with the application of consistent effort. And it should be far enough in the future that you need to commit for the longer term.
So there you have it. A list of some of the best ways to stay on track with your workout goals this winter. And of course, at Maxine’s, we’ve got proven, tested workouts, nutrition plans, content and the community that can also help you get the best results from your time in the gym.