How to Stick to Your Fitness Goals During the Cold Winter Months


The shortage of daylight and cold weather make winter wellness even more difficult.  Despite our best made New Year’s Resolutions, it is tough to stick with an exercise program in the middle of winter.

The strong urge to stay in a nice warm bed can win over your best made plans.  In fact, one of the hardest parts of winter exercise is just putting on your shoes and stepping out of the house.

So, how can we remain focused and motivated to stay on track with our fitness journey through the cold winter months?

Here are 8 ways (plus a bonus) to ensure your fitness goals stick this winter:

 1. Define your goal.

First of all you need a goal to be working toward. Exercise for the sake of exercise is usually not motivating enough to get you out of bed on a cold morning.

Set a goal that is both exciting and  motivating.  Write it down and remember why you want to achieve this goal.

 2. Realize the added benefits

It can be motivating to remember that there are added benefits to winter exercise.  For example, running in the cold actually burns more calories. Or, you get a better cardiovascular workout in a shorter amount of time because your heart is pumping harder in the cold temperatures. And, you are less likely to overheat or reach exhaustion too soon.

So, head outside and enjoy the added benefits of a cold winter workout.

 3. Make Yourself happier

With shorter days, the levels of feel-good chemicals in your brain fall.  Exercise helps release powerful hormones that help combat winter ‘blahs’. The promise of a more positive mood state can encourage you to get moving.

 4. Warm up to Prevent Injury

You won’t be motivated to exercise if you hurt. Make sure your muscles are properly stretched and warmed up before any activity. Dynamic stretches, such as leg swings, marching, or an easy jog will help with muscle stiffness in chilly weather.

 5. Have a plan B

If you don’t feel like going outside, or it is dangerously cold, it’s ok to give yourself another option. Make sure you know what that plan will be before hand though, so it isn’t easier just to opt out. This could include doing a workout at home instead of the gym or taking your run to the treadmill.

6. Try something new

If you find yourself staring at the treadmill with dread, that’s a sign you need to try something new. Mix things up with a new group fitness class like spinning, yoga or kickboxing.

If you’re a home exerciser, try different video or find something to stream online.  You can even turn on your favorite playlist and make up your own workout – jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push ups, etc.

 7. Commit to just a short time

If you just can’t get motivated to tackle the hour long workout you planned, commit to just a short time.  It’s easier to get motivated if you are only committing to 10 minutes.

If after that time you still aren’t feeling it, you can give yourself permission to call it a day.  Most likely though you will be warmed up and energized to complete what you started.

 8. Take advantage of every warm or sunny day

Every chance you get to be outside on a warmer than usual winter day, take advantage of it.  Even if it’s just a short walk at lunch or playing outside with your kids after school.  The vitamin D will improve your energy, release your ‘happy’ hormones, and pull you out of that winter slump.

Bonus Tip: Get some Help

Finally, if you just can’t make yourself do it, find some help.  Hire a personal trainer or wellness coach for accountability.

If aches and pains of winter are affecting your motivation to work toward your fitness goals find a physical therapist. They will help cut down inflammation, pain, stiffness and fatigue. With a myriad of benefits, we will guide you to get back on track, back to your life and improve your state of mind.  Request to speak with a physical therapist, trainer, or wellness coach today by clicking the link below . . . .

Or dig a little deeper with our Free Ebook “How to Get Fit and Stay Fit” loaded with secret recovery strategies that will keep you active, independent, and crushing your fitness goals through the winter months. Click the link below and we will send it to you absolutely Free!