How to Stay Motivated to Work Out During Winter

by | Dec 15, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I love getting outside and getting in some physical activity in the summer. Hiking, biking, swimming, even running outside, you name it! It’s genuinely fun, so it doesn’t feel like a workout at all. But somehow getting in a work out during winter seems just about impossible.

For those of you who live in the midwest, you know exercising outdoors is pretty much out of the question for much of winter. Meaning options are severely limited and most of what I would think of as “fun” workouts are off the table for a few months.

Luckily, I’ve come up with a bunch of strategies to help me stay motivated to work out during winter!






Put It On The Calendar


I definitely feel my motivation to work out slip during the winter, and I can be pretty inconsistent about it.

But one thing I’m WAY better about committing to? My CALENDAR! My Google Calendar is how I organize my entire life and to-do list. So if I want something to done, I add it to the schedule.

This is always a great strategy for me for getting things done. I put it on the calendar when I have LOTS of motivation. By the time it comes time to work out, I probably don’t have as much motivation. But the fact that it’s on the calendar is a reminder to myself that it’s super important to me, and I have to do it anyways.

Plus, it’s one of those things that you dread doing it, but you’re SO happy you did once you get started!


Create a Routine


If you read this blog often, you know that I talk somewhat obsessively about creating habits and routines. MOST of the things you do in a day are by habit, meaning if you have unhealthy habits, you’re living a pretty unhealthy lifestyle.

Routines are essentially just a series of habits put together. Putting all these habits on autopilot makes you WAY more likely to do them. So when you’ve got a really healthy daily routine, you’re living a healthy lifestyle without having to think about it all that much!

I am SO much more likely to stick to my workouts if they’re a part of my routine. I work out a few evenings per week, and it’s always the same ones. Those workouts are a part of my routine.

And in my morning routine is yoga. I get up, wash my face/brush my teeth, start a pot of coffee, and then start my yoga. I literally just do this on autopilot, so I can turn on a yoga video and put out my yoga mat without even thinking about it.

There are also other ways of making sure your workout becomes a part of your routine. If you go to the gym in the evenings to work out, put your gym bag next to your purse (or whatever you take to work with you) to make sure you grab it in the morning. Then go to the gym BEFORE you go home in the evening so you have less of a chance to talk yourself out of it.


Work Out at Home


Living in Wisconsin, exercising outside isn’t really in the cards. By the time I get home from work at night, I’m lucky if the temperature is still in the double digits. Plus everything is covered in ice and snow and running in that is a SERIOUS falling hazard.

It’s also tough to push myself to go to the gym in the winter. It’s so cold and depressing outside, and once I’m home, I do NOT want to leave.

But I don’t use that as an excuse to skip my workouts! Instead, I just work out at home.

If it’s in the budget and you’ve got the space, you could always spring for a piece of workout equipment like an elliptical or a treadmill. If that’s not in the cards, there are still LOTS of options.

I’m a big fan of yoga and pilates, which I can do right in my living room.

I also love the app SworkIt. You basically pick what workouts you want to do and it puts together a circuit training workout for you.

Finally, there’s YouTube. Seriously, there are SO many workout videos on YouTube, so you can try a new one every single day and never get bored!


Sign Up For an Event


If you need a little something extra to push you this winter, consider signing up for an athletic event such as a 5K, 10K or half marathon (or regular marathon, if you’re that ambitious.) for the spring.

Knowing that you need to train will be the motivation you need to get moving until the big event. And by the time the day of your run comes, it will hopefully be nice outside again!


Upgrade Your Workout Gear


One thing I know about myself is that if I have new workout clothes, I am going to work out. I don’t know what it is, I just get REALLY excited about new workout clothes!

Once in a while if I feel myself slipping into a slump, I treat myself to a couple of new pieces of workout gear. I work out inside for the most part, so a cute tank top of a pair of shorts can be worn year-round. I get all of my workout clothes at either Target or Burlington (they have amazing deals on workout clothes!)

New workout gear can also help completely change your workout routine. One year I was running outside a lot. When late fall rolled around, I figured I’d just start going to the gym to avoid the cold. Except I hate going to a gym, so I never went! So I went to a thrift store and bought myself a nice long-sleeved workout thermal (for a SUPER low price). That one change completely changed my workout routine because I started running outside again every day, rather than thinking I would go to the gym and then NEVER going.




Make sure to check out these other posts you might like on Refined Revelry!


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