The winter is a difficult time for fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike. Many sports are in their off-season, getting outside to exercise is a significant challenge, motivation is typically low and – to top it all off – you’re likely binging around the holidays. It’s really a pretty terrible combination of events.
Believe it or not, though, there are people out there who absolutely love the winter. Even more incredibly, they manage to stay active during this cold, dark part of the year. What’s their secret? How do they do it? Here are just a few tips for staying in shape during the winter months.
Crosstrain – Instead of viewing the shift in temperatures as a disruption in your routine, try seeing it as an opportunity to focus on a different aspect of your fitness. Preferably, your target will be one more suited to the colder months. If you’re a runner, for example, use this time to do some strength training instead of slogging through the snow and ice. Crosstraining like this gives you a chance to fill any gaps in your fitness while avoiding overuse injuries to the muscles that you typically work in your target sport. Plus, you might find that you end up looking forward to the colder months and the crosstraining they bring, but we’ll look at that more in #4.
Don’t Fear Supplements – When the sun is high and bright during the spring and summer, you may have absolutely not problem staying motivated. But, as the days get darker, shorter and colder, your energy levels could wane – impacting not just your desire to workout but also your performance when you finally do get to it. This may be a perfect time to grab a preworkout like Gnarly Pump for a little help getting started.
Get Creative Inside – If you usually spend your workouts outside, it might take a little extra planning to move things indoors. Of course, the obvious option is to join a gym. But, if you aren’t willing (or able) to spend the extra money on a gym memberships, you still have options. Use the stairs at work to build up your strength and endurance, or find places you can walk inside like malls. For something more focused and challenging, you could do a bodyweight circuit at home. This would included things like pushups, pull-ups, and burpees done one after the other to keep your heart rate up and your muscles working. Workout DVDs are also a great way to have a solid program that you can simply follow without having to leave your climate controlled sanctuary.
Find A Winter Sport – A winter sport that you enjoy like skiing or skating is a perfect strategy to trick yourself into looking forward to the colder months. These sports also make great crosstraining options.
Eat Seasonally – Along the same lines, if you find foods that you enjoy and can associate with the winter, you may find yourself looking forward to the change of seasons. But the benefits of seasonal eating go way beyond a little emotional self-trickery. When food is picked and eaten in season, it is at it’s peak nutritionally and will offer you exactly what your body needs to stay fit and healthy during that time of year.