Staying Motivated in Cold Weather

I had a great time on vacation, but now I’m struggling a little bit with getting back into my normal workout routine! Over the last week, I found all sorts of excuses not to go to the gym. And I’ve been feeling a lot like this:

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But I know that I enjoy working out, and I just need a little kick in the pants to get back into it. So I thought of a few ideas for getting (and staying) motivated again, especially as the colder weather moves in. Please share any ideas you have in the comments section below!

1. Shake up your workouts

Sometimes the usual routine can get a little boring.  Luckily, there are lots of ways to incorporate something new! You can try a new class at the gym (I’m a big fan of the Les Mills classes – Body Pump, Body Combat, if your gym has them), visit an interesting exercise studio (they often offer free classes), or download a new workout app on your phone – there are many excellent ones around, and I have friends that love the Skimble Workout Trainer App and the Nike Training Club app, both free for Android phones, and probably iPhone as well?

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How perfect would hot yoga be in this cold weather??

2. Give yourself a goal

I find it easier to stay motivated when I’m working towards a concrete goal! When I find myself losing motivation to workout, a surefire way to get it back is to sign up for a race.  I’ve added two races on the calendar for this winter – the Run for Shelter 10K in Alexandria on November 23, and the Jingle all the Way 8K in DC on December 8! I ran this race last year and had a blast.

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Some other ideas: set a goal to run x miles each week or month, and reward yourself with a manicure or movie night for meeting your goal each month, or track your workout time on an app like Dailymile and compete against a friend or family member! Winner pays for a nice dinner and gets bragging rights until they’re beaten :)

3. Exercise with a friend

If you always exercise solo, try hitting the gym with a friend! The time goes by faster, and you might find yourself working harder with someone to push and encourage you.

4. Volunteer at a race

It’s motivating to be around other runners (or bikers), especially on race day! You’ll probably find yourself rushing to sign up for a race as soon as you’re done.  It’s also a great opportunity to pay it back; nearly all races take place only with the assistance of volunteers generous with their time.

5. Buy some new workout gear

Maybe it’s time to replace those old sneakers stinking up your closet, or to invest in some cold weather gear! Black Friday is just around the corner, and I found some great deals online at places like Running Warehouse and Nike.

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6. Subscribe to an running/ fitness magazine

I find all sorts of motivation between the pages of Runner’s World! All the training plans, core workouts, and race advertisements do the trick to get me out the door.  I also love reading exercise/ running/ healthy living blogs and books about running like Born to Run and A Race Like No Other.

How do you stay/get motivated to exercise?

Anyone running any races this month? I wanna hear about them!

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2 thoughts on “Staying Motivated in Cold Weather

  1. Alexa

    I have a hard time running outside during the winter, so I usually switch to indoor exercises like cardio at the gym, lifting, crossfit, or (oddly) playing games on my nintendo kinect! I know “video games” are generally not exercise, but throwing on a kinect game like Dance Central for 45 minutes (it has a fitness/playlist mode) really gives me a great workout. And all in the comfort of my livingroom!

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