It is so cold this week that there aren’t enough layers. Every time I go outside I regret it. Holing up in my home is equally monotonous. How do you fight the winter hibernation? The desire to crawl in your cave and not come out until spring. The constant craving for carbs and sweets. Even the decrease in your water consumption because it’s cold and you want heat.
This is where the fitness community will say “No Excuses” and “Stay Strong.” But you know what, the weather sucks. It’s natural for your body to want to relax. Your desire for food isn’t the cold but the constant saturation of “comfort foods” and desserts that are everywhere this time of year. How do you single-handedly battle an entire season? Here are some tried and test tips for getting through your seasonal rut and staying on target. There’s a reason you want this. You have worked hard all year. Don’t throw you weight and health into limbo by playing the diet yo-yo. Remember slow and steady wins the race.
- Sign up for an athletic event. Pick a Race or competition that takes place in 8 weeks and train for it. Having a real substantial goal with a deadline will keep you going.
- Try a winter sport. They’re not just all out of doors. Skiing and ice skating take a lot of effort and torch calories. Embrace the season and have fun.
- Play like a child again. Sled, build snowmen, take out the neighbors kids with snowballs. Bundle up and play. Feel free to warm up with hot cocoa, it wouldn’t be winter without it.
- Mix up your routine. Doing the same exercise for more than 8 weeks can put you in a plateau. Add something new to your work out or mix it up entirely. Weight lifting can do more for you than cardio unless you’re training for a race switch to weights.
- Work out at home. Don’t bother leaving the house or changing out of your nice warm jammies, do your routine at home. There are so many amazing programs that will give you results that you can justify not wearing shoes and going out into the cold.
- Decrease your work outs. I know this is a wild thing to say, but during the holiday season motivation is low and time is essential. If you really can’t seem to make exercise work move it to every other day. You will still be exercising the recommended number of times to maximize cardiovascular health. As long as you keep your nutrition on goal you will continue to lose weight. It’s also easier to commit when you know that tomorrow is a rest day.
- Infuse your water or leave the gallon on the counter and drink room temperature. I love cranberry citrus infused water this time of year. It feels festive and like a treat. Add any fruit combo you can imagine, herbs too!
- Have a cheat meal. Allow yourself one meal weekly where you can fill those cravings. Portion control still matters, don’t eat a whole cheesecake, but a slice won’t kill you. Balance is key to sustainable results.
- Network your friends. Having a buddy to keep you motivated and going is beyond helpful. If you’re procrastinating and your friend is working out right now, you’re more likely to just do it. Friends provide the extra support and accountability we need when motivation is low. Join a group on facebook and surround yourself with support.
- Reward every single success. You worked out, boom, you’re amazing. Share it on your social media. Give yourself a dollar and save up for a present. Window shop the cool new gear or the next shoe you’re dying to have. Be proud of your results, you have earned every pound lost, every inch gone.
Congratulations on keeping the promise to yourself and not giving up. I’d love to hear if you have a top tip to staying motivated during the holidays.