It can be tough to motivate yourself to work out in winter. It’s cold, dark and wet outside. There’s nothing that seems appealing about going for a jog or even driving to the gym. Unwinding at home or at the bar sounds way more fun.
All of your buddies are starting their fitness binges in the spring, and your brain is telling you to do the same.
You tell yourself it’s an age until you’ll be showing off your body on the beach. Also, that you have a dozen boozy Christmas parties to attend this month, so working out will make no difference to your waistline.
As legitimate as these excuses may seem, the best time to start exercising is TODAY. The best summer bodies are built in winter.
With that in mind, here are five simple life hacks to motivate you into smashing that winter workout.
1. Make yourself accountable
Accountability is one of the best motivational tools.
The best way to make yourself accountable for your fitness is to find a friend to work out with. Create a schedule together and promise you’ll stick to it. Now, if you feel like skipping a day, you’ll have to call your friend and let them down. For many, that’s more stressful than the most intense gym session.
Alternatively, set yourself a schedule and have a friend hold you accountable for it.
At the very least, install a smartphone app which helps you track your workouts. Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal are two favorites that allow you to share your progress via social media.
2. Work out first thing in the morning
The key to sticking to a workout plan is routine. So, decide what time of the day will be easiest for you to work out and commit to doing it at this time.
Many people find it easiest to work out first thing in the morning before anything comes up that’s more fun or more important.
Studies suggest this is the best time to work out if you’re trying to lose weight because your body continues to burn fat throughout the day.
Prepare your sports clothes before you go to sleep, so there’s no messing around in the morning and aim to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Just like diving into a cold swimming pool, you’ll find it’s less painful if you just get it over with.
Before you know it, your workout will be done, and you won’t have to stress about it for the rest of the day.
3. Join a class
Workout classes aim to make fitness more fun, plus if there’s a regular community, it can help to hold you accountable.
Most gyms or fitness clubs hold regular classes, so find something you’ll enjoy and sign up.
Alternatively, if there’s an amateur sports league nearby, consider rounding up some buddies and creating a team.
You might begin to look forward to working out, and even make a few friends while doing it.
4. Weigh yourself once a week (or less)
If you’re primarily working out in order to lose weight, you might think that weighing yourself regularly will give you the motivation to keep going.
That’s fine, but people who weigh themselves too regularly often become frustrated when they don’t see daily progress.
Some might even notice that they’ve gained weight day-to-day. The reasons for this are numerous. Perhaps you’ve gained muscle (which weighs more than fat). The time of the day has an effect on your weight too (as does your ovulation cycle if you’re a woman).
You’ll get a more accurate (and hopefully more motivating) idea of your progress by weighing yourself once a week.
5. Reward yourself
It’s totally normal to feel like you can’t sustain a strict workout and diet plan all the way into summer. So, don’t beat yourself up if you do have an extra rest day, and don’t be afraid to reward yourself with the odd cheat meal. This makes your workout routine way easier to sustain into the summer and beyond.
Enjoy your rewards, then do your best enjoy the hustle of getting back on the fitness grind the next day.
With the help of these simple motivational hacks, you’ll get the body you always wanted far quicker than expected.