Fall is here and the days are shortening! For me, the switch to Daylight Savings time is always a firm indicator that we are heading into the cooler months. It’s dark when I drive to work and dusk when I get home. My cat starts burrowing under our blankets and I start digging out my riding boots and scarves. Additionally, I always start feeling my “Winter Workout Slump.” Going home and curling up with the remote control and a blanket seems a lot more appealing than a crisp run out in the brisk evening air.
After the hype of our wedding weekend, an indulgent few weeks in Hawaii, we entertained my in-laws and then headed to New Orleans (the capital of fatty fried foods), and boy have I got off track when it comes to my regular workout routine. With Thanksgiving, and the winter holidays hot on it’s heels, I am majorly motivated to get back on the workout track.
Here are my top tips!
Bribe Yourself with Treats
Whenever I find myself in a slump, I always “bribe” myself with a new workout gadget, equipment or apparel. I know it sounds terrible, but I find that having something exciting and new to use is a great motivator to get my bum off the couch. Some of my past treats have included: new running shoes, a Nike+ tracker and my favorite long-sleeved Nike dry-fit shell.
Don’t have a workout or fitness item on your wish list? Consider setting a fitness goal for yourself, such as running three times a week, challenging yourself to learn a new Zumba or dance move, or trying out a new sport. Instead of bribing yourself with new gear, consider “banking” some dollars toward a non-fitness treat, such as a new Kate Spade bag or that Chanel makeup that you have been drooling over. Some people find that it’s easier to stay motivated to do less-desirable things (such as working out), when they have their eyes on their prize.
Incorporate Fitness into Everyday Activities
I’ve written a bit about this before, but I’m a huge advocate of incorporating fitness into your everyday schedule. Life is just busy and albeit staying fit should be a huge priority for us, our lives are filled with a number of other demands on our time.
If you’re like me, the majority of your day includes…sitting down. I sit…in my car, at my desk, whilst eating lunch and then eating dinner and relaxing after the work day. I have no idea what the percentage is, but I would say it’s somewhere north of 90% of my day!
Consider taking a minute and mapping out a “day in the life of you” and where you can incorporate in some activity to your day. A few ideas that I have added to my daily work routine, include: Walking to the coffee station in another building on our campus (instead of grabbing a cup of tea at the one just down the hall); using the upstairs restroom instead of the one a few doors down; and, standing up while I’m on a long conference call
Other ideas to consider, while not in the office include: Walking around the block when you’re on a catch-up phone date with a friend or ditching brunch or evening drinks and meet up with a friend for a hike in a local park or at a studio for a spin class.
“Double Bottom Line” Workouts
Another motivation strategy that I have used in my winter workout slumps is to find (what I call) a “double bottom line” motivation strategy. My interpretation is finding a fitness goal that also provides some sort of community benefit. I think this tends to go well with the “holiday season” and is a good reminder of how fortunate we are to have what we have in life.
What are some ideas? Consider doing a charity walk or run for a community-based organization or national advocacy campaign. Another ideas is to volunteer at a local food bank or shelter and spend a day moving food donation boxes. These are great ways to stay active but also tap into the all-important side of charitable giving.
The bottom line is most of us experience a sort of lethargic reaction to the winter. It’s just plain more enticing to sit in the warm house, then to get out in the cold. However, since the winter-time is also full of goodies like pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing—it’s important to maintain your discipline and keep yourself active.
Have a good tip to share that keeps you going during the winter? We’d love to hear from you!