How much willpower does it take to stay fit during cold winter months? Worried or shamed about skipping/shortening workouts? Plus, reframe and re-up your winter workout!
During the summer months, it’s relatively easy to fit in fitness. Sunny, warm weather invites us to take a walk, hike, ride, or swim, whereas freezing temperatures encourage holing up indoors. We’re dressed in hoodies and sweatpants but are loathe to get off the couch. How can we maintain or increase our fitness when all we want to do is hibernate?
The answer is to find balance in three features of any fitness regime: consistency, duration, and intensity.
Duration: Increasing the duration of the activity will require your body to adapt and grow. Choose fun activities that keep you active for longer periods of time, such as skiing, snowshoeing, indoor cardio, yoga, or swimming. Perhaps you’re working out less often, but the change still forces the body to adapt and grow!
Intensity: If you experience diminished energy or desire to participate in activities, try decreasing the duration of the activity while increasing the intensity. For example, if you normally run outside but it’s too cold, try short, high-intensity sprint workouts indoors. Google HIIT and Tabata Training
Consistency: By keeping up the frequency of workouts, you can preserve your muscle by keeping the muscles active, even without the intensity or duration. Maintaining fitness is an accomplishment in itself! When the summer months hit, you’ll be ready for your favorite outdoor activities.
Use your most important ‘muscle’ – your brain – to modify your workouts. Regardless of where you’re at with your body, you can add or modify your workouts to better suit your mood and lifestyle. Efficiently allotting your efforts makes winter workouts less of a chore.
What are the activities that you do now? If you don’t have a fitness regime, per se, then list any healthy movement, including walks indoors (shopping!) and outdoors, and activities that get your body in motion. Note the duration, intensity, and frequency.
Are there any barriers to staying active? What emotional, physical, mental challenges are you facing? What thoughts come to mind when someone says, “Get active”?
Brainstorm the possibilities. How could you modify the duration, intensity, and frequency to overcome the challenges?
Out of all the ways you brainstormed, which ones are doable and would help you increase your fitness?
Commit to one change for the better!
For easy ideas about yoga and movement, see my easy yoga moves in Yoga Now.