It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s snowy. It’s icy. It’s dark. It’s dreary. You just got home from work, fed your kids and you’re all nestled on your couch under blankets. You have your tea in hand, slippers on and the last thing on earth you want to do is get up, go into the cold outdoors and head to the fitness class you registered for before we switched the clocks back.
OH, I know it does! I’m a fitness trainer, I hear this excuse all the time. All. The. Time. And, while I can commiserate with you because, to be honest, I’m nestled on my couch with my kids under a blanket before I head out to teach you, I’m here to tell you to get off that couch and GET TO CLASS! It is more difficult to remain active in the winter, I totally understand. I truly do. But remember, fitness is about so much more than just sweating.
The winter months are long and often times dreary. Fitness can help you ward off seasonal depression. It can help you combat the extra calories we tend to take in with stews, soups, casserole and yes, all the Christmas baking I know a lot of you have already started. And while fitness isn’t necessarily about losing weight, it is about having energy, feeling strong and not losing all the gains you’ve made over the past six months.
If you find the right company to work with, fitness is also about friendships, challenges and community. If you start hibernating away all winter, I’m going to bet you’ll come out of this fog in March and feel deflated and angry with yourself that you did that.
So Mamabear, I know some days it’s hard to get off the couch and head into the cold night or cold day to get your sweat on, but as important as it is in summer to be active, it may be even more important in the winter months to commit to your fitness plan. Summer months are filled with bike riding, hikes, swimming and a lot of activity you probably won’t even consider as exercise. But the winter? Typically, our physical activity plummets. And, if you decide that going to your classes over the winter months is too difficult or your too unmotivated, you’re decreasing your physical activity minutes that much more.
You’re important. Remember? Your body, your mind, your soul…all important. Fitness and physical activity? Well fitness and physical activity nourish your body, mind and soul!
Here are a few ways to help keep you on track this winter:
Commit to your fitness plan for the next 30 days. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started or getting back into your fitness routine. So, write down the number of days you’re going to commit to over the next month, write down what workouts you’re going to get to and then create a checklist for each workout. Check them off as you go. At the end of the month, if you reached your goal, reward yourself!
Set a goal for three months from now. What do you want to be able to do in three months? Is there an outdoor winter run you can tackle? Do you want to be able to do 10 pushups from your toes? Is there an outfit you want to wear for a special event? Whatever it is, write it down and post it somewhere you can see it every day. Read your goal out loud every day until you hit it.
Don’t permit excuses. You’re going to want to talk yourself out of workouts all winter. Don’t permit yourself to do that. It truly can be as simple as stopping the thought as soon as it starts. “I think I’ll just skip this work—NO! I will not. I’m going!”. “I’m too comfortable here, I’ll miss this one—NO! I will not. I’m going!”. The power of your own words is extreme. Use them for good, not for talking yourself out of taking care of yourself.
Get in it together. Find a friend who will work out and commit to a fitness regimen with you and don’t let one another off the hook. One day your friend won’t want to go and your job is to tell her you’ll see her in 20 minutes at class. One day you won’t want to go, your friend’s job is to tell you she’ll see you in 20 minutes at class. You need a friend that will push you and commit to you. They’re out there. Go find yours and commit to one another and hold each other accountable.
Plan and prepare. Have your workout clothes ready and put them on as soon as you get home from work. Do NOT put on your pj’s, even for an hour. Have your water bottle, towel and anything else you need to take to your workouts packed and at the front door. Make it a simple job of putting on your shoes and getting out the door. Plan and prepare for success. You got this.
Adjust. If you’re finding it too difficult to get to classes or workouts at night, think about other times in the day you can get active. What are your options? Maybe for the winter you workout in the morning and get it done early? Maybe there’s a mid-day class you can sneak off to? How can you adjust your routine to accommodate your dislike for darkness and cold?
Do something you love. Fitness doesn’t have to be lonely or isolating. Find a class and a community you love and don’t leave them for the winter! Remember, fitness isn’t just about burpees and sweat. Fitness is about inspiring, supporting and empowering those around you. So, step up and be a role model for your community. Stay committed and get to your workouts for the fun you have there. The fun is still there, every time, even in the winter. Trust me, as an instructor, I work extra hard in the winter to make sure you laugh, sweat and love your workouts.
Winter doesn’t have to be a time when you set your fitness aside. So, stop it. Get to class. Recommit. Drown your excuses in positivity. And…GET TO WORK. Obviously, I’m going to recommend Hot Mama Health & Fitness classes, because well…they’re amazing and I trust every single instructor there. So, find a location near you and join the community. It’s fun, challenging and inspiring…everything you need your fitness classes to be in the winter!
Winter coldness is not an excuse to get sedentary. Oh no it is not. Get to work, Mamas. You go this. I know you do. No fitness hibernating, trust me, you’ll regret it in the spring.