Have you ever heard of the phrase “fair weather fan”? It’s a sports term used for someone who cheers intensely for their team when they’re winning … but disappears when they’re losing. Well, it holds true for fitness for many people, too. When the weather is nice, you see lots of people walking, running, hiking and cycling. But once the weather starts cooling off in the fall, those numbers of people exercising drops off quite a bit.
Sure, the gym is usually full at the beginning of each year when people go on their New Year’s Resolution bandwagons. But it doesn’t have to be that way – you can find your inner workout spirit all year long. You just need to approach it the right way.
Personally, I love working out in the cold. There’s no better feeling than bundling up and heading out for a run (but I will admit, I do find it hard to go cycling when it’s cold, so go ahead and call me a wimp!)
Need a little help getting fired up? Here are 5 ways to stay motivated to work out when the days get shorter & the temperature starts to drop:
5 Workout Motivation Tips for Shorter Days & Colder Temps
1) Go short & fast
High intensity workouts (short & quick & very effective) are a great way to get in a workout when your motivation level is not up to speed. You can easily create your own workout, with short intervals of all-out effort (typically 20-30 seconds) followed by lightly longer periods of easy recovery (typically 1 minute – 90 seconds). Youíll get into great shape quickly!
2) Challenge yourself
There are lots of challenges you can find online that will create a little excitement in your workouts. These challenges can run as short as one week, or as long as one month. You can find a challenge for virtually any type of exercise (pushups, planks, treadmills, etc) or goal (weight loss, endurance, etc). Theyíre fun, different, and short enough to keep you interested. And you can usually find an app for most of them, so youíll have no excuses to stick with it!
3) Partner up
If you usually work out alone, spice things up by working out with others. You can either find a partner to work out with or share a goal, or take a class with a small group. Most gyms and local recreation departments offer fitness classes that you can join for a small fee. Classes range from spinning to yoga to bootcamps ñ so there’s a class out there for any interest and fitness level!
4) Change it up
A great way to add variety to your fitness routine is to do a bodyweight workout. But not just your boring old pushups. There are lots of variations for squats, pushups, and core exercises ñ so you can create a complete whole-body workout without using any weights or leaving your house. This is a great way to challenge both your body and your spirit in a whole new way.
5) Sign up for a race
Even if you’re not a regular runner, a race is a fun way to get in a workout, no matter what time of year. In fact, some of the most fun races take place during the holidays. You can dress up in costumes. Or get a group of friends and have t-shirts printed with funny names. Or you can slowly cruise through the race just so you can get to the food & drink at the end. You definitely do not need to be a serious runner to enjoy a race!
The key to keeping fit is consistency. And the key to consistency is fun. So even when the days get short, and the temperature drops, there are still plenty of ways to keep active and keep your motivation level up high!
Have a tip for workout motivation during the colder months?
Share your ideas in the comments below:
Guest Author Kris Bickell is a “weekend warrior” who likes to run obstacle races & do other fun workouts. There are lots of ways to make working out enjoyable that don’t involve trainers, gyms, or weights, and still be effective!