Try these 6 tips if you find it difficult to train during the shorter days of winter

Try these 6 tips if you find it difficult to train during the shorter days of winter

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When winter arrives and the time changes, early sunsets can mean that your motivation to hit the gym may also start to set in earlier. It would be great if we could maintain a constant state of motivation, but the truth is that it can be hard to stay focused on your health and fitness goals when your energy levels have hit the ground running.

You’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to adjust to the time change. In fact, it’s built into our biology. When the seasons change, our circadian rhythms also change. And this seasonal circadian shift not only affects when we sleep, but also when we have energy. In other words, staying healthy in the winter may mean adjusting your fitness habits.

Knowing that, I’ve put together a list of my top tips if to stay motivated during these darker months so you can focus more on getting fit in the exercise – and less time worrying about your drop offs. workouts.

Find an accountability partner

Finding an accountable partner is one of the best ways to stay consistent and on track to achieve your health and fitness goals. It’s one of the many reasons I love our Start TODAY Facebook group. You will find 120,000 friends ready to encourage you. But you can also search for partners in person.

Having someone to train with can make fitness so much more fun.
Having someone to train with can make fitness so much more fun. Getty Images/iStockphoto

It could be someone you train with, a personal trainer, or a family member or friend who is also striving to achieve their health goals. Let’s be honest, it’s easy to cancel a workout with yourself. But explaining to a responsible partner that you’re unmotivated can be more daunting. No one wants to let a friend down!

You don’t have to have exactly the same goals as your responsible partner. You just need a mutual will to commit to a plan together. Look for someone who will lift your spirits when the darker months wear you down and agree to do the same for them.

Having someone to collaborate with can make your fitness journey more fun and exciting. Maybe your accountability partner knows some cool trails you’ve never been on or maybe having someone to hold your hand will give you the courage to try a new class that seems intimidating to do alone. Be creative in how you support each other!

Register for a course

If you spend money on something, you will be more likely to attend. That’s why I recommend signing up for a class when the darker months pull you down.

Young woman preparing for training.
You may need to get out of your house to do your winter training!milanvirijevic/Getty Images

There are so many classes that can help boost your energy levels. From pilates and hot yoga to Zumba and spin classes, signing up for one or more of these classes can make more of a difference than you might imagine. Fitness instructors are trained to encourage, challenge, and motivate you to keep going when you’re ready to quit.

Plus, just getting out of your home or your usual hangouts can really help get you excited about fitness. Exercising in an environment surrounded by like-minded people can be energizing, and recent research suggests that group fitness can improve your physical and mental health.

Exercise indoors

The weather outside can be dreadful enough to affect your mood, but that doesn’t mean you should skip your workout! Try to train indoors. Whether you’re taking free YouTube classes, our December workout plan, or just dancing around your house, exercising indoors can be a great way to stay on track.

It can be difficult to find a workout space in your home – mentally and physically. Changing your mindset and changing your environment. Set aside a small portion of your living space somewhere you can’t ignore and dedicate it to your workouts. Whether you place a mat next to your bed or a set of dumbbells next to your couch, you’ll see that visual reminder that your gym is right in front of you.

When it’s time for your home workout, set the stage for yourself. The little things you do to make your fitness at home more atmospheric can become a routine that helps you mentally shift into fitness mode. So close the curtains, turn on the lights, put on some music and get moving!

wake up earlier

If the sun has already set when you usually exercise, it might be time to consider waking up earlier. This may not seem ideal for night owls, but if the lack of daylight outside is weighing on your energy levels, it may be in your best interest to change your schedule for the upcoming winter months. As a personal trainer, I always advise my clients to prioritize sleep. This may mean trying to go to bed earlier so you can wake up earlier to exercise without sacrificing your zzzs.

Young woman tying her shoelaces before a workout
New gear can improve your look – and sometimes your performance. milanvirijevic/Getty Images

Invest in new equipment

Putting on new gear from head to toe can really be a game-changer. New workout gear or clothes can feel like a makeover and sometimes we all need that boost of rejuvenation and high energy levels to get back into a workout routine!

Whether it’s new shoes, leggings or headphones, consider updating your wardrobe or workout gear for a fun twist on your routine. If money is tight, try arranging a fitness equipment swap. Lots of people have gear they don’t use or a pair of shorts that don’t fit, and they’ll probably be happy to swap for something they can use.

Change your music

Listening to the same songs over and over again can get boring. Whether you’re listening to a new genre or a new artist, switching up music can be just what you need to renew your motivation!

young woman with mp3 player dancing
When your energy starts to run low, turn it up!Steve Prezant/Getty Images

If you love music, sometimes the anticipation of hearing something new will be enough to put you on the treadmill. Have you ever felt curious about a genre of music that you don’t really hear often? It’s the perfect time to find some new ear candy! Some genres to check out include rock, hip hop, rap, country, and pop.

But you don’t even have to do the work of finding new music if it’s not fun for you. There are plenty of free playlists on Spotify, YouTube, Pandora and Apple Music, for more options to find a heartbeat to boost your workout! In fact, many fitness instructors already have great playlists designed to go well with different activities and moods.

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