Stay Motivated to Work Out in the Winter

The chill-you-to-the-bones weather left ice sticking to your hair and coat, you almost slipped and fell while scraping snow off your car, and that was only after you managed to pry the frozen car doors open.

You’re exhausted from a full day at work or with the kids, it’s as dark as midnight, and it’s only 4:30 pm. Slippers, hot cocoa and comfort food are calling your name and you’d only consider going to the gym if someone paid you.

When I was living in Syracuse, NY these were the reasons I became a certified group fitness instructor.  I realized I would only go if someone paid me and I had 20 workout “buddies” waiting for me to show up and teach.

You might not need to go to such extremes, though, if you try five of my other tricks to fight winter fitness roadblocks:

1. Make yourself an upbeat iPod play-list or CD and dance around as you straighten up at home; find a hip-hop or African dance class at the gym; learn to bellydance at an adult education class or at the Y; plan a girls’ night out dancing.

2. Hire a personal trainer if you have the money. If not, many gyms also offer free training sessions with a new membership. You’ll learn some new moves and if you have to meet someone for a planned session, you’re more likely to show up.

3. Heat yourself up by staying inside with a new fitness DVD (like my new Military Wife Workout) or fitnes channel on TV. Just hit play and before you know it you’ll be done.

4. If you’re not up to a rigorous workout, yoga is as easy as rolling out your mat, or slipping on your “yoga paws” (a travel set of yoga gloves for hands and feet). You will warm up, get blood flowing and ease stress.

5. Get a slow-cooker/crock pot for hearty, veggie-heavy meals with  minimal preparation and dishes.

If these don’t work, give a friend 50 dollars and have them hold it for a week. You only get the money back, in 10 dollar increments, when  you go to the gym. Sometimes you just need the cold hard cash for cold dark days.