10 Ways to Help You Stay Healthy and Active this Winter

10 Ways to Help You Stay Healthy and Active this Winter

We all know that feeling, snuggled in your bed nice and warm deep into the covers, the sun hasn’t risen yet and the temperature in the room is freezing. So you make an excuse and instead of getting up and ready to workout, you snuggle deeper into the covers, press the snooze and claim tomorrow you’ll get up to work out. And then the cycle repeats. Remember that summer bodies are made in the winter, they don’t just appear by magic. Exercising in the early morning hours is a great way to start the day and get working out done before your day really even begins. So how to put an end to these excuses and get your butt moving?

  1. IT’S TOO DARK TO GET UP. First excuse to get over is that the sun is not out yet. Waking up before the sun rises can definitely mess with your head. A great option is to invest in a bedside lamp that can simulate natural daylight. For example, the Phillips 'Wake-up Light', endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation, gradually increases the light and comes with a built in clock and alarm. Starting your day with natural light will help activate your internal clock to get ready to take on the day.
  2. IT’S TOO COLD TO GET OUT OF BED. The next popular excuse is being all nice and warm in bed and not wanting to stick even a toe out from under the covers into the icy room. A way to avoid this syndrome is to set your thermometer to have the heat increase close to the time you need to wake for your run, ride or fitness activity of your choice. It allows you to be warm when you throw off the covers. However, for some people, a heater or radiator can’t really be regulated for exact temperature control. So instead you can place your workout clothes on the heater or radiator, or even put them in the dryer for a quick fluff, so that your clothes will be nice and warm when you climb out of bed.
  3. WAKE UP TO YOUR JAMS. Another way to get yourself up and in the mood to move is to set your iphone or alarm to play your favorite jams. Use your favorite song that makes you shake your hips or something that inspires you, whether it’s the theme song to the lion king or something classic like Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. Whatever you choose, make sure it will lift your mood and energy and not allow you to roll over to shut it off and shut down your chances for starting your day with fitness.
  4. WORK OUT WITH A FRIEND. This is an awesome way to motivate yourself to get up and get ready. No one wants to be the person who ditches their friend or who doesn’t show up when and where they say they will. Coordinate with a friend for an early morning run or a workout partner at the gym, knowing your friend is waiting is a great way to stay accountable. Plus it’s a win win because not only do you have a fitness pal, you have someone else to bitch to about the weather and how it’s too damn early to get out of bed.
  5. WAKE UP WITH A SHOWER. Many people get invigorated in the morning by putting their head under water. A shower can be a great way to wake up in the morning. It doesn’t have to be an hour long thing. Just a quick in and out to get your blood pumping and your juices flowing. Enough to get you dressed and out the door.

  6. WARM UP INSIDE BEFORE HEADING OUT. Before opening the door and getting blasted by the winter wind, you can do warm up exercises inside.That might be doing some jumping jacks, following along with an exercise DVD or yoga sunrise salutations. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it gets your blood flowing and your heart pumping. This way, when you do head outside, your body is already warm and the cool whether is more of a balm than a blister.
  7. ACCOUNTABLE TO TECHNOLOGY. There are apps now where you can actually get paid for achieving your fitness goals. Apps like PACT can let you get paid for your workout. The way it works is you set your fitness or nutrition goals and when you fulfill the pact for the week, you’ll get paid by other users who didn’t stick to their promises. However, be aware if you skip out on that workout, you’ll have to pay up. Having to pay others when you don’t stick to your end of the bargain can be a great motivator, it’s like throwing away your hard earned money.
  8. FIND AN EXERCISE THAT INTERESTS YOU. No one and I mean no one wants to push themselves to get up in the early cold morning to get to a fitness class or go on a run that they hate. If you know that the spin class or that 5 mile run will make you more unhappy after you get it done rather than the exercise high we all love, then find something that will. Change it up and don’t be afraid to try different things to find one that works for you. Maybe it’s a yoga class or a group boot camp or maybe you need that personal trainer to create a custom program for you. Find it, use it and get moving.
  9. MAKE MINI GOALS THAT ARE ACHIEVABLE. Maybe you have the ultimate goal of losing 50 pounds or running that marathon. Exercise is 90% mental game and if you start by biting off more then you can chew, it can discourage you early when you don’t get immediate results. Instead, set mini goals for yourself. Set a goal Monday for the end of the week so you can easily track it and achieve it. The more of these mini goals you achieve, the more motivated you will be to keep going and make it a daily part of your healthy life.
  10. FIND A CHALLENGE OR COMPETITION. Apps like Strava let you see what other people are doing which can help motivate you to do better. Also fitness classes or communities like Orangetheory or Crossfit provide an environment that is competitive and keeps you accountable with scores front and center. If you are someone who thrives in a competitive environment these types of communities could be the way to get your butt out of bed and into the gym.

Being healthy and active isn’t always easy. Most of the work is mental, finding the energy, time and motivation to make the right decisions to prioritize time for exercise. We dare you to try one of these tips and see if it works for you. Let us know how your journey goes by commenting below.

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