It’s that time of the year again where we’re struggling with the motivation to work out now that winter chill has set in. With the warmth of summer long gone, working out is no longer as simple as throwing on your trainers and skipping out the front door into the sunshine. Shorter days often make us want to snuggle up on the sofa with Netflix and popcorn, not pound it out on a treadmill.
You know that you should hit the gym. A weakened immune system is often one of the first culprits of missing out on exercise for too long, and you want your immune system operating at its peak. Exercise and the beneficial endorphins it releases do all sorts of positive things for your mood, which can be extremely helpful during a time of the year when you’re not seeing the sun as much. Keeping up a regular exercise routine during the winter will also ensure that come spring, you won’t be starting from square one when it’s time to do all of your favourite activities. You’ll be raring to go!
So switch off the telly, slip on your trainers, and listen up. We’ve got plenty of tips and tricks on offer here to help keep you moving and grooving all winter long. Keeping fit in winter is different than keeping fit in summer, sure, but it’s just as important.
1. Set Goals
This is your first step. If you only have some vague idea in your head of what you’d like to accomplish for your day, or your week, it’s much less likely to happen than if you verbally tell yourself what you are going to do that day. You can even write down a goal list or a workout schedule to help you keep track of where you’re headed.
You can also ask yourself why you want to stay fit – are you working towards a big event later in the year? Do you want to keep up with your kids, or your dog? Do you want to feel healthier? Whatever your personal reason might be, think about it, write it down, maybe even tape it up on a mirror. If you feel like you’re losing steam with your winter exercise program, just a quick glance at this piece of paper can remind you why it’s important.
2. Bring your Routines Indoors
Does the winter chill make you want to hide in your closet? Well, the good news is you can bring your work out inside. Whether that’s at home or at the gym, you have plenty of options. At Bayswater Recreation, we have a multitude of classes and types of equipment throughout our gyms to keep you moving and motivated. If you know you like working out in a group, sign up for one of our yoga, pilates, or cardio classes. Prefer to be alone and in your zone? Pop in your headphones and hit the treadmill, or swim some laps in one of our pools. Whatever your preferred work out situation is, what you can do outdoors, you can do inside our gyms at Bayswater Recreation.
If you’re working out at home, there are plenty of online yoga, cardio, pilates, and strength-training videos to get you moving in your living room. Put on some motivating tunes, get your favourite gear on, and get ready to sweat! After all, isn’t winter all about turning up the heat?
3. Partner Up!
It is so much easier to stick to your winter exercise goals and schedule when you have someone to hold you accountable. If you set a workout date with a friend or significant other, you’ll have double the motivation to make sure both of you stay on track. Your workout buddy might even introduce you to a new type of fitness class and break you out of your comfort zone – perfect for breaking up the monotony of winter. Check out our group fitness classes at the RISE here. Looking for our Bayswater Waves facility? Start here.
4. Stick to your Schedule
Even when you’re busy – especially when you’re busy – you should try and be deliberate with scheduling your workouts. If you’re already pretty good about sticking to a routine, this should come naturally to you. If you’re notorious for procrastinating, however, be as specific as you can when you write out your schedule. Doing all of this ahead of time makes it easier to stick with it. The night before a workout, take a quick peek at what you have scheduled – you’ll wake up feeling more motivated and mentally prepared.
Experts recommend about 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week, but even little doses of 10 minutes can help boost your heart health, elevate your mood, and assist with weight management. Take the stairs, get outside for a walk, try biking to work… experiment with what works for you. Working out doesn’t need to take hours out of your day. If you’re particularly busy, or even just feeling a bit lethargic, try and book 5-10 minutes of exercise into your schedule. Chances are, once you start, you’re going to feel the desire to keep going. Start small and watch your motivation blossom.
5. Stay Positive
While it can be hard to force a smile when you’re jolting awake to your alarm at 6 a.m., setting that routine and keeping that motivation high is going to help you out in the long run. Think of all of the physical and mental health benefits of exercise, remember the feeling of being strong and fit, reflect on how fun it can be to work out with a friend – it’s those feelings that are going to keep you going in the middle of winter. Stay positive, remember to have fun, and also remember…it’s okay to take a break. If your body needs rest, it will tell you. It’s absolutely okay to honour that.
At Bayswater Recreation, our gyms are open again right through winter to help you stick to your workout goals. We want you to feel fit and healthy. Remember, if you’re experiencing any feelings of stress or depression, getting your heart pumping and your blood moving is one of the most accessible (and beneficial) ways to help alleviate some of that anxiety. Winter workouts make all the difference.