Here in NYC it’s getting colder and for most of us it is dark outside both before and after work. While it may be tempting to sleep in and run right home after work to snuggle up on the couch with your favorite blanket, it is so important for our bodies and minds to get our workouts in, even during the winter. According to Fitness Magazine, despite what you may think, the trick to exercising regularly isn't finding your inner enforcer. Rather, it's getting creative and tapping into your natural motivations. Here are our favorite tips for getting motivated and staying motivated to get your workouts in this winter:
Don't put away your gear
Visual cues are a wake-up call to your brain. If you don't have the space to display your gear, choose just one or two prime locations that you'll never miss.
Remember why you started
It’s not about keeping the motivation, it’s about remembering why you started in the first place, and asking if you really want to start all over again just because skipping your workouts for this day or this week (or hell, even this month) seems tempting in the moment.
Ask yourself: “Will I regret skipping this workout?”
I learned over time that I always regret the workouts I skip in the morning and then spend all day trying to re-work my schedule to fit in a quick sweat session later that day. I’ve learned that it is so much easier to just do the workout as planned and I never regret the workouts I do.
Track your successes
For my strength training I keep updating a note in my phone every time I either PR or try a new lift. When I run, I keep a diary of my times and how my runs feel too. This allows me to look back over time and see how far I’ve come, which always motivates me to want to do more!
Turn your commute into a workout
Running, walking, or biking somewhere you have to go anyway makes exercise feel time-efficient and you don't have to carve out another part of your day for it.
Invest in more workout clothes
Having the right clothing reinforces your identity as an exerciser, and when exercising is part of your identity, it isn't optional anymore. Fitness is then just part of your life. Plus, having great workout clothes (and rewarding yourself with new ones) is always an added bonus!
Log your workouts online
Social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook offer an extra layer of social support. Choose a social platform or online fitness tool. Then get in the habit of chronicling your progress after your workout every day so that your friends know when you exercise and when you've skipped out.
Make friends with class regulars
This is one of the biggest reasons I love group fitness. You get your social fix while doing physical activity, plus knowing that your friends will be waiting for you at the gym makes it that much harder to skip out. Social activity and fitness both boost health, and the better you feel, the likelier you are to want to exercise.
Rethink Positive Thinking
Try visualizing the benefits of a working out as a motivational strategy. For example, when I’m deciding whether to get out of bed to go to strength training in the morning, it helps to imagine how I’ll feel when I hit a new PR, when I see my new muscles developing, or when I am caught up in the group fitness environment.
Create an exercise contest
Competition turns a solitary goal into a fun group one. The contest can be for anything: most steps walked, most hours logged at the gym, highest percentage of body weight lost. By competing with each other, you're actually pushing each other along.