How to Stay Motivated to Exercise This Winter


Staying motivated to exercise can be tough now that the cold weather is here and COVID is on the rise. It is understandable to want to stay curled up in a blanket with some comfort food and a good series to binge watch.  To be honest, I think that doing this once in a while is fine, but you don’t want to forego your workouts. Staying healthy is particularly important now to help combat stress, keep you mentally healthy and keep your immune system healthy.  If your motivation is beginning to wane, it is time to regroup and recommit to a different plan with different objectives.

Here are some tips that may help

 1.   Grab a journal and a quiet place and think about and then write about your “Why.”  Why is being fit and healthy important to you now?  What are the benefits of staying healthy and fit?  What are the downsides of giving up and stopping? Don’t be surprised if your “Why” is different than it has been.  The world is much different and our circumstances are different so you may discover your “Why” has also changed.  Once you have your “Why” write it down, or find images that reflect it and put it in a place that you can see it as a reinforcement.

 2.  Enlist support.  This can be finding an accountability buddy or finding a virtual group or product that works for you.  Your favorite studio is probably offering virtual classes. Signing up will help you stay on track, and you will be supporting their business.  There are some excellent digital fitness subscription services out there.  I think the best one is FITFOREVER.  Go to sign up and give it a try.

3.   Schedule it. Try and schedule your exercise when you have the most energy and the you have the least possibility of distraction. This is extra important if you have kids at home and/or are working from home.  If you will try or “just find time,” it is not likely to happen. 

4.   Remember, progress not perfection. It’s not all or nothing.  You may not be getting in the same level of exercise you were this summer, or before the pandemic, but that’s OK. Something is much better than nothing.  Just don’t give up! 

5.   You can’t out train a bad diet. Your favorite junk food once in a while is Ok but NOT as a regular thing.  Junk food increase inflammation in our bodies, supports weight gain and after the sleeve of cookies are gone, you know you feel crappy about yourself.  Keep junk food out of your house and healthy snacks available.  If you eat better, you feel better, and are more likely to make exercise happen.

6.   Prioritize sleep.  This is a biggie, and I think the most important piece of our physical and mental health.  Set a consistent bed time and wake time, don’t deviate more than 30 minutes. Stay away from electronics a few hours before bed time. Start a wind down routine thirty minutes before your scheduled bed time.  Try and keep your wind down routine consistent so you start to condition your body that it is time slow down and sleep.  If you are well rested, you are much more likely to follow through on your commitment to work out, eat healthfully, and you will be better able to handle stress.