How To Stay Motivated To Workout In Winter

Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick  and Founder of Wild Women On Top

When the alarm kills delicious dozing on a dark winter’s morning or your lover tempts you with a glass of red as you snuggle up together on the couch, it takes an iron will to honour your commitment to a walk in the cold.

Despite knowing how exhilarated you’ll feel when you’re out there, and how satisfied you’ll feel when it’s over, getting active outdoors in winter is a tough gig. Our brain tells us to snooze that little bit longer, stay indoors after dark and slow down. But our body needs to move.

In fact, your body loves working out in winter, and gives you so many extra benefits. Here are just a few…  

  • You burn more calories. Because your body is working harder, your metabolism revs up and your body burns more calories and fat to produce energy for your workout.
  • Your endurance performance increases. By challenging yourself in the cold weather, you are strengthening your heart, lungs and circulatory system, improving your overall health. 
  • Winter workouts can help fight SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Being outside and taking in more sun during the daylight hours keeps your mind sharp and relieves depression as well as increasing your body’s manufacturing of vitamin D.
  • Physical activity outside can help to boost feel good-endorphins which elevate your mood and make you happier! The cold stimulates the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, which keeps us feeling great.
  • It's invigorating, exciting and energising, especially when there’s also an adventure to be had. There’s nothing like adding that rosy glow to your cheeks after an intense walk up a hill or a game of hidey in the park.

So now we know WHY we should, how can we motivate ourselves to get out there?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Get a goal. It can be big, such as hiking to Everest Base Camp or small, such as completing a 5km fun run, but it needs to require you to improve your fitness. This will motivate you to exercise even when you don’t feel like it. Need a goal? Check out our upcoming adventures or sign up for Coastrek. 
  2. Diarise your weekly workout plan. Write it down and stick it on the fridge.
  3. Pick activities you like. If you like walking, plan for it. If don’t like swimming, don’t bother with it. Try hot yoga, some stair sets or a bike ride. Our favourite is hiking, of course
  4. Workout with friends. It’s far harder to bail on a workout if you’re going to see your girls as well, so commit to a social workout and let the FOMO motivate you. Don't have friends who'll join you for a workout? Join us at Trek Training and meet some awesome, like-minded women. 
  5. Pay for it in advance. You’re way less likely to cancel.
  6. If all else fails, just walk around the block. Five minutes outside in the fresh air can transform your whole day.

Don’t let the cold keep you indoors this winter. Get outside, get moving and enjoy the extra benefits a cold weather workout has to offer.

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