The lottery results for the 2018 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler just came out this past week, and I’m very excited to be running the race for my second time! The 10-mile distance is one of my favorites to run, and this one is not only beautiful, but nice and flat and easy. That means it’s the perfect opportunity for me to whittle down my time and maybe move my way up in the corrals at the Army Ten Miler next year.
Except there’s one problem. When it comes to training in winter, I am The. Absolute. Worst. When a race pops up in my spring lineup, I’ll be on the perfect track toward not only racking up a PR but losing 10 pounds in the process. Then the cold weather hits and I practically hibernate. In fact, if not for Orange Theory and Yoga and the ton of walking I do during the course of the week anyway, I’d practically be hibernating right now.
I’ve decided I’m not waiting until the New Year to start kicking in on my resolutions. That’s why by the time you’re reading this, I will hopefully be up and out and covering at least a 5K worth of distance, even if slowly. And I’ll be working to maintain healthy eating and a good exercise plan through the winter.
How, you ask? Well, I definitely don’t claim to have all the answers, but here are five ways I’ve found that you can keep your fitness going through the holidays – and through the frightful winter weather!
Five Ways to Maintain Your Fitness Through the Holidays
Get your workout over with early!
Something about the winter days just saps my energy. By the end of the day, when Scott and I get home from work, it’s dark and cold outside and there are cats yowling to be fed and all we want is to jump into our cozy sweats, eat dinner, and watch a show on the couch. Not exactly a conducive environment for an afternoon or evening workout.
Instead, I find that if I get out and get my workout over with before I go to work, or if I can cut out of work for a little while to get to the gym, it’s better all around. For one, it energizes me for the rest of the day. For another, I don’t get frustrated because meetings have sapped my energy or a late breaking deadline has taken up my workout time.
Getting up and getting out early guarantees that I get the time I need to work out.
Peer pressure is awesome for fitness!
There’s seriously nothing like a workout buddy to keep you honest. I frequently compare workout notes with a couple work friends who are on similar training regimens, and we make a habit of asking each other how our workouts have been that day. I also like virtually comparing notes on our Orange Theory workouts with my sister-in-law and sister.
If you know someone’s going to be checking up on your workout or if you just get in the habit of telling someone about it, you’re more likely to do it. So don’t shame all those folks who post their workouts to Facebook – they’re building their own accountability system.
Invest in proper workout clothing!
My Swedish grandfather…wait, I had two of those, so let me rephrase that. My mother’s father always used to say, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” So it’s not the weather that’s bad. You just might not be dressed for it.
Dressing for the cold is tricky if you’re not used to it. Layers are essential, so you can keep a balance between protecting yourself against the weather and not overheating when you work out. You’ll also want to invest in moisture wicking material that won’t soak up snow or sweat.
Having the proper clothing can make a huge difference in your comfort – and hence, your willingness to work out.
Get an alarm with a light component!
If you’re going to get up and out early to work out, you’ll need to get your energy going. And we all know how good waking up in darkness can be for your energy levels. It’s like waking up with a constant state of jet lag.
So instead of waking up in the dark, think about getting an alarm – or an app – that wakes you up with light along with sound. And then, once you’re up, turn on some lights and do your best to trick your body into thinking it’s daytime!
Embrace cold weather activities!
Who says you have to run to stay fit? If the trails are too icy to run or the snow too deep, embrace the calorie-burning potential of winter sports like snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, skating, or even a good old fashioned snowball fight. All of these will get you outside, energized, and burning calories.
That also means embracing the other thing people do when it’s cold – going inside! It might mean spending some quality time with the treadmill or rowing machine, which not everyone loves, but if you put on your tunes or a good audio book, you can power through that workout just fine.
So those are my favorite tips and tricks for staying motivated and working out in the winter. If you have any other suggestions, we’d definitely love to hear them!
And if you liked this post, we’d love for you to pin it for later!
So what did we miss? What are your suggestions for working out in the winter?