The start of a new year is a great time to commit to getting more exercise. But the thought of going outside when it’s cold or joining a gym with hundreds of others who also set a New Year’s workout resolution in January can make it harder to get motivated. These tips can help you jump-start a winter fitness routine.
Sign up for a streaming fitness service
During COVID-19, the number of streaming fitness services jumped dramatically. Many people discovered that they enjoy the convenience of working out at home, and these streaming services are still widely available. You can choose from subscription-based services that are accessible on your computer, through an app on your smartphone or tablet, or through apps on a smart TV. Or you can follow fitness instructors on YouTube or Instagram to get workout routines—some are even available for free.
Ask your smart home device
Smart home devices can curate workouts for you. Just ask for a short home workout and get instructions on what exercise to do. Find everything from interval workouts and yoga to full-body stretching. Most of the workout routines are under 10 minutes, so you can do them even when you’re short on time.
Get outside for fun, not for a “workout”
Some people pause their regular fitness activities like running or walking outdoors when winter weather comes because it’s hard to get motivated to go out in the cold. If you want to continue to exercise and take advantage of being outside, try some new and fun winter activities and get your heart rate up. Try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or ice skating to have some fun and burn some calories.
Find a motivation buddy
Staying motivated to work out is tricky any time of the year, especially in winter. Having a “workout buddy” can help you stay on track and be more consistent with your fitness routine. Workout buddies could be family members, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Or you could even get a dog who needs regular exercise, so you have a reason to get outside each day.
Get movement in short bursts throughout the day
Adding an hour or more to your day to trek to the gym is unrealistic for many people. Life is busy, and it’s not always easy to find that much time for a dedicated workout. The good news is that most people can find a few minutes here and there throughout the day that add up.
Set an alarm at work to get up for 5-7 minutes at the end of each hour. Go for a short walk, climb a few flights of stairs, or do some simple stretches at your desk.
You can also add short workouts at home. One easy way is to do bodyweight exercises during every commercial break while you watch TV or in between streaming shows. An average hour-long TV show has almost 15 minutes of commercial breaks, so if you do this for two hours while watching TV, you’ll get 30 minutes of total exercise. If you’re unsure where to start, search online for exercise routines you can complete during commercial breaks.
Finding ways to stay motivated in the winter can help you stay on track for your overall health and wellness goals.