Winter workout: 7 tips to stay motivated to exercise in cold weather

Winter is coming! Going for a run or a workout when it’s cold outside may not seem like the easiest thing to do. Even if you want to do it, you may lack the motivation for it. But here are some ways to manage a winter workout for your health’s sake.

Rihana Qureshi, a fitness expert and founder of Get Fit with Rihana, shares advice on how to motivate yourself to workout in winter months.

7 motivational tips for winter workout

1. Workout indoors

If you live in a region where it gets very cold, indoor exercises may be a better option. The warmer the environment, the more conducive it is for a workout and the more motivated you will feel to do any physical activity.

workout at home
Covid-19 has taught us all how to workout at home! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Wear the right active wear

Normally in a humid climate, opt for cotton clothing as it absorbs moisture (sweat). But in winter, you want to avoid that because if your clothes are soaked in moisture, it will leave you feeling colder. So go for sports clothing made from cotton-mix or synthetic fiber since they soak 50 percent less moisture compared to cotton.

3. Don’t miss warm-up and stretching

Winter or not, a warm-up before a workout is super essential. But in the cold weather, it becomes mandatory. When exercising in colder temperatures, you’re at an increased risk for sprains and injuries. A warm-up will increase blood circulation and core temperature of your muscles, which can prevent injuries during a winter workout. In fact, you can even do some warm-up exercises at home before you leave for your workout. This way, you will be less likely to feel chilly the moment you step outside.

Similarly, practice targeted muscle stretching compulsorily after the workout. Our muscles constrict in colder weather and are more prone to dehydration, cramping and spasm. Targeted stretching can prevent a cramp or spasm which could affect your workout next day.

4. Stay hydrated during winter

Winter air isn’t just cold, it’s also dry. To keep your skin from drying out, drink plenty of water during your workouts. Its necessary to make this a forced habit since you may not feel very thirsty due to the cold weather but your body could still be dehydrated.

water for dehydration
Consume water to avoid dehydration. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Make super-sets a part of your winter workout

If you start feeling cold in between sets, do 10-20 repetitions of body weight squats between 2 exercises. Legs being the largest muscle group will generate the most heat. If you are not used to squats, you can do spot jogging for 60 seconds. This will maintain your blood circulation and prevent you from feeling cold or sluggish.

6. Involve a workout buddy

If you wonder how to workout in winter mornings, try this! It’s easy to cancel your workout if you do it alone. Find a friend, neighbour or co-worker who loves to exercise. A motivated workout partner will help to keep your motivation levels high too.

7. Don’t give up

During winter, at times it can be difficult to muster the motivation to get dressed and leave the house to workout. If you find yourself in such a situation, workout at home. A good body weight workout is much better than missing your workout entirely. You can just pick your favourite workout video online and follow along. As they say, the best workout is the one that happened! So keep this in mind instead of missing your workout altogether.

winter laziness
Kick winter laziness away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Importance of nutrition in winter

If sometimes, the weather makes you feel sluggish and you can’t work out, at the very least maintain your nutrition through your winter diet. Avoid processed or comfort foods high in calories that the cold weather may tempt you to reach for. You will not only avoid additional weight gain, but you will also be more motivated to exercise regularly if you are eating right.

The right mindset to not give in to the weather is all you need to carry on with your winter workout. Of course, if you have certain health conditions such as asthma or heart problems, it is best to check with your doctor first to review any special precautions you may need based on your condition or your medications.

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