If you live in a city that gets dark and cold in the winter (in other words if you don't live in California) you know it can be challenging to be motivated to exercise. I shouldn't complain about Vancouver because my Eastern friends will remind me that my city is not buried in snow, but it rains 90% of the time and I feel like it's constantly dark, so long story short it's tough to go out and go for a jog, kick a ball around, hike, etc. But we all know exercise is essential in staying healthy, keeping our minds happy and positive and having a banging bod so here are five methods I use to ensure I don't become a sad inactive person in the winter that I hope will help you as well:
1. Go out and exercise first thing in the morning (doesn't have to be outdoors). You probably don't have anything scheduled before your work starts, so this is the best time to do it and you can check it off your list and feel accomplished before you even start work. If you sleep earlier the night before it won't be as difficult to wake up. The shower and breakfast afterwards will be so satisfying.
2. Schedule a workout date with a friend who lives nearby or who works at the same office. I left my house at 6:30am this morning to go for a run outside not because I have iron discipline but because I'd scheduled that run with a friend. It was early and cold. But we did it and I felt fantastic. My friend and I both agree that if the other person wasn't there, we wouldn't do it. This is one of the most effective way I've found to stick to your exercise plans.
3. Pay someone. Unless I'm sick or out of the city, I've never missed my weekly personal training session or tennis lesson. Why? Well, they're fun and I enjoy them, but also because I've paid for them and don't want to waste my money. Consistency = achieved.
4. Join a team! I love team sports. I love the competitiveness and camaraderie. There's also a feeling of responsibility to your team that will get your butt out of your house to play a game on a cold rainy night. In every city there are lots of rec sports to choose from. Traditional sports like soccer, violent sports like dodgeball, and water sports like dragon boat.
5. Enjoy winter sports. Turns out winter is not so useless because guess what, you can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing! They vary in excitement levels but they are all great exercise! Skiing in my happy place (Whistler) is a good reminder that winter is actually a great season.
What are some ways you stay motivated to exercise this time of year?