5 Ways To Kick The Winter Blahs
Do you feel like your workouts have been down in the dumps recently? Don’t let the winter chill put a freeze on all your fitness & wellness goals!
Instead, fight fire with—more fire. Burn away those ‘blahs’ and spark up some serious motivation this winter by spicing up your workout routine with these five energizing ideas.
Whether you love boredom-busting variations to classic exercises or trendy new moves, shaking things up will give you the extra boost of enthusiasm needed to stay committed and crush those goals.
Let’s light that fire, y’all!
Why keep up your fitness routine in the winter?
Staying active during winter months can benefit our overall health and well-being in several ways you haven’t thought about yet. Let’s take a look…
Improves exercise endurance
Colder temperatures outside can actually improve endurance and allow us to exercise more efficiently. We’re less likely to get dehydrated or overheated, affecting our capability to work harder/longer.
Fights the winter blues
Keeping up with a workout routine during winter has been known to help fight the winter blues and boost energy levels, which are often lower in colder weather. Win-win!
Did you know that regular exercise during the winter can help boost the immune system, potentially reducing the number of winter colds & flu. (that’s reason enough!)
Kicking the workout blahs – Winter Fitness Motivation
Staying active during the winter can help maintain a healthy lifestyle, which can be challenging as people tend to adopt a “snuggle up” mentality leading to overeating and a decrease in physical activity. Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to hit the snooze button!
Regular exercise during the winter months can help in creating a body that one is confident in and helps in reducing the negative effects of the cold weather on mental and physical well-being.
Here are five tips to keep it up when the temperature drops!
- Find a workout buddy or get a personal trainer
Working out with a friend or personal trainer can be a great way to stay motivated and stay active when the colder temperatures arrive!
The winter months can BE LONG AND DARK, but working up a sweat with a friend can turn your blah workouts into something much more fun! You’ll be more likely to show up for scheduled workout sessions, lift that little bit extra and push each other to run those final miles with a buddy. (or trainer at the health club!)
What’s more, it could help keep winter-related depression at bay with some physical and mental connection with others 🙂
So grab your winter workout clothes & gear, holler at your friends, and hit the gym!
- Switch up your workout routine
Mixing up your workouts is beneficial in keeping you on track with your fitness goals in the winter months for several reasons…
First, if you do the same physical activity repeatedly, not only can it become monotonous, but it can lead to decreased motivation over time. (a.k.a Boring!)
Plus, doing the same workout repeatedly can result in your body adapting and reaching a plateau in terms of progress. Switching up outdoor workouts with gym sessions challenges the body and can prevent stalls from happening.
Get a new barre class, rowing routine, yoga or HIIT, or primal movement workout on the schedule to keep things fresh and new! Your muscles will thank you…
Want to brave the weather? Here are the nine best winter workouts you need to try this season!
PLUS.. Doing various workouts can make fitness feel less like a chore and more like a fun and varied experience.
- Start slow and build up
Trying something new or just starting out? Take your time.
It’s best to build up slowly when transitioning to a new workout regime in the winter months to prevent injury and stay motivated.
Why? Because people tend to overdo it initially when trying new exercises and end up with injuries due to the body not being prepared for the extra activity. (And being cold and tight from the frigid weather!)
Taking time to ease into a new workout routine allows your body to adjust gradually, reducing risk.
Get started: go slowly and gradually build up to 30 to 60 minutes of winter exercise, like walking, running, group strength training, yoga, or other fitness-related activities each day, five days a week. By spring, you’ll be reaping all the healthy benefits!
- Set realistic goals
Setting achievable goals can be a great way to stay motivated during the winter months.
Whether you want to beat your personal best time in a 5K or simply stick to a daily workout routine for several days in a row, having something to work towards can keep you motivated and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Try a habit tracker or fitness app to log your workouts and work towards your own personal goals!
Have you tried #75Hard? Or Animal-Based30? Both are examples of goals you can set to keep yourself on track!
- Reward yourself
Finally, consider setting up a reward system for reaching workout milestones.
Staying physically active is a big win in the winter! Treat yourself to a massage, a new workout outfit, or a special meal after hitting a specific goal.
Celebrating your successes can help keep you motivated and on track toward a healthier and happier winter.
I promise! It can make a big difference!
Tips for breaking free of the winter blahs
Over 14 million Americans are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD], so if this sounds like you, you’re not alone! It’s common for moods to dip when the days are shorter, and the temperature drops.
Not only does getting your blood flowing help the winter blahs, but it helps us in finding joy.
Let’s take a look at the best tips:
Get some sun (even if artificial).
Exposure to sunlight is known to stimulate the release of serotonin, a hormone responsible for promoting feelings of well-being and improving mood.
Therefore, it makes sense that a decrease in sunlight can result in a reduction of serotonin levels, which has been linked to an increased risk of depression.
Light therapy can help many who suffer from SAD, and many physicians recommend a 10,000-lux white fluorescent light box for up to 30 minutes daily.
Supplement Vitamin D
The natural production of vitamin D through sunlight exposure has also been shown to impact mental health and overall well-being positively.
Supplementing with vitamin D is suggested for individuals who think they might be suffering with the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Studies have found a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and SAD.
Vitamin D plays a role in the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are “happy chemicals” in the brain that can be low in depression.
Research suggests vitamin D supplements may help relieve symptoms of SAD. Taking vitamin D during other seasons could help prevent depression symptoms during winter as it is stored in the body .
Vitamin D supplements can be purchased over the counter. Look for combinations of Vitamine D + K2 with at least 2,000 IU.
Ready to start eating healthy for your vitamin d fix? We can also get vitamin D from the following foods: salmon, tuna, milk, and fortified orange juices.
Sleep like a Pro
According to a sleep foundation survey, people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) sleep 52.9 minutes less in October than in September. That’s HUGE!
The survey also stated that 70.9% of respondents with SAD also have a sleep disorder. Yikes.
Turn off Netflix and power down those electronics early — it really does make it hard to fall asleep!
Also, make the environment in your bedroom super cozy and dark… Get yourself some blackout curtains (or a sleep mask), and invest in a sound machine.
You’ll wake up the next morning like a new person and ready to start exercising!
The Wrap – Kick the Winter Workout Blahs
Don’t let the weather get you down this winter! There are plenty of ways to stay motivated and excited about working out, even when it’s cold outside.
Try one (or all) of these tips and see how they work for you.
And as always, if you have any questions or need some help getting started, feel free to reach out.
I’m always happy to chat about fitness goals, workout routines, and how to overcome plateaus.
What tip are you going to try first? Let me know in the comments below!
About jules simon
Jules writes about her life as a migraine warrior, chronic illness fighter, and pretty much all things faith, fitness, and food at xojulessimon.com! She has a passion for encouraging others in their journey to health and wholeness based on her personal experiences. Jules has certifications in personal fitness training & nutrition and previously managed digital marketing teams in large tech firms.