It’s easy to lose motivation to work out once the temperatures drop outside. If you live somewhere that has especially brutal winters, it can be even more difficult. Those lucky enough to live in warmer climates may find themselves running up against a brick wall from time to time, too. Arming yourself with a plan can help keep you active even when you feel like hiding out underneath the covers. Why not take these extra steps to help you reach your New Year’s resolutions or just ensure you stay happy and healthy as we navigate the sometimes difficult winter?
Whether you’re planning on exercising indoors or outdoors, it can be good to have a warm-up routine. Warming up can get the blood flowing to your muscles before stepping out into the cold if you have an outdoor workout planned. This can help you avoid injury. Even if you’re planning on exercising in a gym or in your home, consider doing some light exercises to get your muscles loosened up a bit. Try some jumping jacks, running in place and stretching to get started.
Working out with a friend is a great way to have accountability and also to boost motivation to prioritize that exercise time. Find a workout buddy who you can partner up with to hit the gym, hit the pavement, or hit the floor for some friendly, competitive pushups. Working out with a friend makes it easier to say “yes” to exercising even when you aren't in the mood.
Sometimes we lose motivation when our workout routines get stale or boring. This can happen when we stick with the same routine for too long. If you’re an avid runner, consider throwing in some cross-training to break up your daily miles. Cycling or weightlifting can be great for this. Similarly, if all you do is hit the gym to lift weights, consider getting out for a jog at least once a week to add some cardio into your workouts. If you want to get totally out of your comfort zone, try signing up for a class that is totally new for you like kickboxing or spinning or even yoga.
Nothing keeps you motivated like having a goal to reach. If you’re a runner, consider signing up for a half- or full marathon. If you’re a weightlifter, think about entering a fitness competition. Your goals can be outside of the box, too. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds and need a little extra boost to keep you accountable and on target. Think about planning a vacation or special trip in the spring as a reward for hitting that fitness goal. These things can help you keep your eye on the prize and stay on track to meet the goals you have for yourself.
If you’re thinking about working out in the cold this year, you’ll likely need special gear to keep you warm. The shorts and tank tops that you used in the summer just won’t cut it. Buy new training gear, gym shoes, clothing layers, and other things that will keep your body protected from the elements. It may take a few tries to find a combination of clothing that keeps you energized, warm, and comfortable. Think about layering fleece-lined leggings, thermal jackets, and gloves to keep your entire body warm. Layers are best as you can remove some if you find yourself getting overheated.
There’s no shame in getting a little help, especially during the winter months when motivation may be lacking. Think about hiring a personal trainer to keep you motivated and to push you outside of your comfort zone. For people who have a hard time getting themselves to the gym, this option can be a great way to stay accountable, even when it feels like a good day to pass on a work out.
Wait, what? What does a doctor have to do with staying fit throughout the winter? A lot, actually. A great direct primary care doctor can help you map out the best way to stay healthy during the cold winter months. They have the best idea about your health history and can make recommendations on activity levels, nutrition, and potential supplements that can optimize your health all winter long.
Lucky for you, Decent makes check-ins with your primary care doctor free. Yep, you pay $0 to see your doctor, whenever you’d like. Both our Pathfinder bronze plan and a Trailblazer silver plan offer free primary care. That means you get unlimited access to your DPC doctor and you pay $0 out-of-pocket. This includes same or next-day appointments, telemedicine (video calls), and 24/7 phone, texting, and email support. So if you’re dreading how the winter might wreak havoc on your health and fitness routine, get a quote and see if one of our plans might be a stepping stone to a better health plan and a better you.