Sometimes, winter feels like the longest season ever! Its cold conditions combined with early darkness often lead to lack of energy, or what I like to call the “winter blahs.” Even I can admit that when I’m feeling “blah,” the last thing on my mind is the gym (curling up with a good book or Netflix seems much more appealing).
However, there’s no excuse when it comes to our health and taking care of our bodies. To motivate you (and me), here’s are my top five ways to beat the winter blahs with exercise:
1. Take it outside
Don’t let cold temps scare you from going outside and benefiting from the sun and crisp, fresh air. Spending time outdoors (even if it’s chilly) increases serotonin levels, which may be lower during the winter due to longer days. When the sun is out, bundle up and take a brisk 30-minute walk.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take an ice skating lesson or try snowboarding. Even in cold weather, always remember to lather on the natural sunscreen.
2. No-excuse at-home workouts
For this tip, you don’t even need to change out of your pajamas (or leave the house). Workout tutorials and videos are a great option to get in some movement if it’s too cold outside. Search your favorite blog (this one!) or browse YouTube for fitness videos.
The benefit of doing workouts this way is you can try something different every day. You may even find that exercising at home will increase your mood, energy level and help with sleep.
3. Morning group training
Training in small groups can serve as excellent motivation in the winter. Sign up for an early morning class as it’s brighter earlier. Putting off workouts until the end of the day may fail due to early darkness.
Plus, it’s fun to meet new people and it will keep you accountable. Lay out your workout gear the night before and set your alarm. As soon as it goes off, jump out of bed—no snooze allowed!
4. Find the right supplements for your routine
It may be time to add a few new supplements to your daily routine.
- Pre-workout: Using a pre-workout this time of year is a must—especially if you find you’re dragging yourself to the gym. Adding a pre-workout can increase energy, focus and strength.
- Vitamin D: With a lack of sunshine during the summer, extra vitamin D is needed to regulate our mood.
- Omega-3s: Again, shorter days in the winter, combined with cold temperatures, increase our winter blues. Taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement may help to improve focus and boost your mood.†
5. Get your nutrition in order
Exercising and eating healthy go hand in hand. Doing one without the other won’t yield the results you desire. This is a good time to create a meal plan, start a food journal and stock up on nutritious snacks. For inspiration, browse the blog for healthy recipes and nutrition tips.