By: Brittany Gossin
While the surf and sand may go away as the weather turns colder, the boots, scarves, sweaters, pumpkin spice, and holiday treats all come out. Blues and whites are exchanged for reds and oranges along with a change of what we like to do for exercise or rather, excuses NOT to exercise. Here are the common winter traps people fall into and why you should stay motivated to overcome them:
Trap #1 - It is cold and I can’t go outside, so therefore I can’t exercise.
Many people, myself included, find it difficult to stay motivated through the colder weather because let’s face it, staying tucked under those warm blankets is a lot more enticing than getting up into the cold to exercise. However, just because it is cold out doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to stay fit inside! With the technology we have and the access to millions of online resources, you can easily find videos that suit your style. YouTube is filled with them along with Instagram hashtags that you can search like #homeworkout or #workoutathome or #bodyweightexercises if you don’t have access to equipment. Even search the type of exercise you want to do and you’ll find it on Instagram or YouTube. @alexschimmelyoga is a good friend of mine that has yoga workouts in his bio link for example.
Why should you stay motivated through this?
Statistics show that a majority of people who experience depression do so during the winter months. You may not be one of those people; however, exercise releases endorphins and boosts serotonin and dopamine within your body. This release of natural hormones triggers positive feelings in the body which can decrease feelings of depression and anxiety. With the holidays approaching, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t experience even the slightest bit of anxiety. Exercising can help these feelings in a natural way which can only help your mood, so why wouldn’t you? It’s also a reason to go somewhere and get out of the house if you usually attend an exercise class. I know that if I am stuck inside too long, I go stir crazy and I’ll look for any reason to get out and do something. Fitness is a great excuse to get out of the house!
Trap #2 - I have holiday parties which means I am going to eat poorly, so what’s the point in exercising?
In my family, we get together every year for a day of cookie baking where we make roughly six different types of cookies and make four dozen of each. Then we split the cookies evenly between the four households, or at least we split what we hadn’t already consumed throughout the day. It’s so easy to fall into this idea that you can ignore your fitness for two months because of all the gatherings centered around food. Often people think that just because they can’t keep to a “diet” that means they don’t have to exercise either, because what’s the point, right?
Why should you stay motivated through this?
Due to the poor eating habits, you should continue to exercise. Especially because of the poor eating habits the holidays bring, you should keep motivated to go to that exercise class, do that at home workout, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or whatever else it is you choose to do as your routine in the summer months. Burn off those bad calories! Then when you do eat that cookie, or in my case, twelve, it’s not so terrible on your body because your metabolism will be boosted from the exercising you’re doing.
Ultimately, summer bodies are made in the winter. The hard work you do in the winter time will show exceptionally well when the time comes to put on that bathing suit come June. People spend a lot of time working hard in the summer months just to lose all of their progress because they fall into these traps over the fall and winter seasons making it twice as hard to get back to where they want to be. If you don’t lose it to begin with, you won’t have to work twice as hard to get back to where you want to be.
How can I stay motivated?
If you’re like me and have a hard time with motivation, there are plenty of ways to help keep you accountable. Follow people on Instagram that have the drive you want. Seeing them stay motivated helps me stay motivated as well. Have a friend join you in your fitness endeavors. Knowing that some else doesn’t want to get up as much as you do is always comforting because you can push each other. Whine to each other. Commiserate with one another. There are also tons of Facebook groups dedicated to fitness, which has been helpful for me personally. Whatever way you need to keep yourself accountable, do it. When its time to take off those sweaters and sweatpants, you’ll be grateful you kept up with your routine and it’ll make eating those treats twice as satisfying because you put the work in first!