by Tatum Halligan, D’Amore Law

As temperatures drop, it’s normal to struggle to find the motivation to exercise. Avid fitness buffs, beginners and everyone in between find it challenging to endure the cold weather and early darkness to make it to their workouts. Below are a few tips on how to find and keep the motivation to move despite the weather.

Bundle Up

For those who love to exercise outside, preparation is critical! The best bet for staying warm is layering up. It’s simple to strip layers down if they become too warm. Essential items may include thermal leggings, headbands or beanies and long sleeve shirts with a sweater or jacket over them. Most importantly, remember the gloves and socks! Hands and feet are crucial sources of warmth that help regulate the rest of the body’s temperature. Since these extremities have less muscle than the rest of the body, they get cold much faster. Sometimes, cold extremities can be uncomfortable or painful. Taking the new gear out for a spin is a great reason to work out!

Create a Routine

Creating a routine is a great way to stay motivated. Everyone is busy, whether it’s with work, family, friends, significant others or any other responsibility that comes with everyday living. As a result, most people struggle with finding time to exercise. Blocking out time to work out makes people more likely to hold themselves accountable! Treat this time like an appointment that cannot be missed. Try to create a plan, set realistic goals and stick to them!

Have a Workout Buddy

For multiple reasons, having a buddy to work out with is a helpful. motivational tool.

  • Having someone to work out with makes exercising more fun!
  • It’s a great way to make time for friends.
  • Accountability, competition and encouragement often increase the quality and frequency of exercise.

Stay Flexible and Listen to Your Body

While routine and accountability are helpful tools to stay motivated, it is just as important to be flexible. Life throws curveballs, and plans change. Nobody can plan for everything. Even when plans change, working out doesn’t have to be put entirely on the back burner. A short walk or modified workout is better than feeling guilty for not moving enough. Moreover, everyone should listen to what their body needs. Everyone’s needs are different, and doing what is best for oneself can maximize benefits, prevent injury and curtail negative self-talk. There’s no shame in skipping a 5-mile run for yoga or taking a day off!

Find Purpose Beyond the Physical

After having a steady workout regimen, many people begin to see changes in their physical appearance. While this is undoubtedly a perk of exercising, remember all the other benefits of working out. Exercising can boost self-confidence and improve mental health and overall health. Physically active people tend to get sick less often and live longer. Working out consistently makes a person look good, but perhaps more importantly, it also makes them feel good. Sometimes physical changes take time. Waiting for changes to happen can be disheartening, but there are plenty of other good reasons to stay active