Let’s face it – the days are getting shorter and colder in a hurry. It can be hard to stay in shape as winter approaches and the weather gets dreary, but there is no off season for fitness. Work today for the level of fitness you want to have next summer. Here are some tips for working out when the weather is less than ideal outside.
Keep it short. There are ways to get in an effective workout in 20 minutes or less. The best way to do this in my opinion is to incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is a type of training where you work hard for an interval, then rest for an interval, and repeat. Instead of working at a moderate intensity for an hour, alternate working really hard and resting. This boosts your metabolism and causes your body to burn fat even when you are done with your workout. One way to do this is to do Tabata workouts, where you work hard for 20 seconds and rest for 1o, for 8 rounds total (4 minutes). It can be hard to motivate yourself for a long workout, but it’s a little easier to convince yourself to work hard when you know you will be done in a few minutes. 12 Minute Athlete is a great resource for short but effective workouts.
Try something new. It can be fun to change your workout routine with the seasons. Find something new to try (such as pilates, CrossFit, or martial arts) to keep you from getting bored this winter.
Find a workout buddy. If you find yourself slacking when you work out by yourself, see if you can convince a friend or two to join you. It can be more fun to work hard when someone else is doing the same beside you. If you can’t find anyone you know to fill this role, try joining a group fitness class.
Reward yourself. Just as you train your kids or pets, you are responsible for training you. Find something to reward yourself with after you reach a specific goal. For example, you could make it your goal to be able to do 5 strict pullups by the end of this month. Once you reach the goal, reward yourself with a new set of workout clothes, a cheat meal you’ve been dying to have, or a mini vacation to someplace warm. The key here is to only reward yourself when you actually reach your goals. Don’t reward yourself unless you’ve earned it. In time this will help train your mind to work hard and stay focused.
Keep working! Your future summer self will thank you 🙂