10 Trainer Tips to Stay Active During the Long Winter Months

by | Updated: February 16th, 2023 | Read time: 5 minutes

We’ve all been there. Motivation is high, you’re waking up with the sun, getting a sweat in before work and going on a nice walk after dinner. You have a great routine, but then you realize you need three jackets to leave the house, and the sun isn’t rising for another hour.

Winter can make it a lot harder to keep up with your workouts and the healthy habits you built throughout the year. Don’t fret! You’re not alone, and it’s not impossible to stay fit and healthy during the colder months. With a little extra discipline and some helpful tips, you too can avoid the winter rut. Try out these trainer-approved tips to stay fit during winter.

A Man in Winter Workout Gear Stretches Outdoors in the Snow, Representing How to Stay Fit During Winter.

10 Tips to Stay Fit During Winter

1. Don’t beat yourself up

The first step is recognizing that it’s much harder to stay motivated this time of year. Don’t get down on yourself for skipping a few extra workouts this season. Practice self-compassion by understanding that a workout routine can be difficult any time of year. Sleeping in and cozying up by the fire are just as good for the soul as a sweat session.

2. Make a realistic schedule

Try your best to build a workout plan that you can and actually will stick to. If you struggle to wake up on Mondays, avoid planning to do a long run or heavy leg day that morning. Plan in a quick yoga session or brisk walk for Monday and save the more intense workouts for a Saturday or Sunday morning. Take note of your habits and build a schedule that suits you.

3. Get a workout buddy

Nothing helps motivation like someone relying on you to motivate them. Use an accountability partner to help you reach your goals. On the days when one of you is really not feeling it, the other one can help keep you accountable. On top of that, people tend to workout harder when they have someone challenging them.

4. Catch up on some shows

While you may not burn the most calories or get your heart rate up to where you’d like, watching a show while you exercise can be a great distractor. Download your shows and bring them to the gym. Use a piece of cardio equipment for the duration of an episode. Before you know it, you’ve caught up with your favorite fictional characters and given your heart and brain a healthy boost.

5. Make a fresh new playlist

Nothing motivates better than a killer music playlist. Spend time curating a playlist with all your favorite pump up songs. Then pop in your ear buds and press play next time you’re struggling to make it out the door. If you aren’t filled with a burst of energy, it’s time to find new music.

6. Try new indoor workout options

Maybe this is your time to try out that new workout studio down the road or finally take the leap and check out the rock climbing gym. As the weather becomes less ideal for outdoor activities, it is a great opportunity to find out what your area has to offer, and you may just find a new favorite workout. Trying new ways to stay active is also a great way to keep yourself well-rounded and work different muscles and energy systems.

7. Take advantage of the cool air

Before you skip this section, hear me out. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean there won’t be days where the workout conditions are great. With proper sunshine and minimal wind, some winter days can be perfect for a long walk or run, and with the proper gear, even a bike ride. As these nice sunny days may not be common, use them as an exciting opportunity to get back outside and catch vitamin D and fresh air. That being said, if you aren’t getting enough sun, make sure you add in a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine.

8. Get a new winter wardrobe

If you do plan to run or stay active outdoors, a proper wardrobe is a must. If you are fully equipped with gloves, layers, a good hat and jacket, it will be much easier and more comfortable to go on that run. Treat yourself to a little shopping spree and gear up.

9. Keep up with your nutrition

It’s no secret that exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. If you want to keep up with your workouts you will need to keep your meals in check, too. More importantly, if you know you will be less active this winter, then you want to be even sure you’re fueling yourself properly. Try your best to eat a diet full of healthy fats, fiber and protein, including a wide range of fruits and vegetable. When in doubt, eat whole foods and eat the rainbow! If you don’t feel you are getting proper nutrition, you can always supplement with a multivitamin or green powder to help fill in those micronutrient gaps.

10. Turn it into a challenge

Whether this be a solo feat or a group effort, creating a challenge can be a great way to keep yourself consistent and motivated. Especially with the rise of smart watches, challenges can be as easy as competing for the most logged workouts in a week. If you want to get more creative, you can compete for fun health-related prizes, or even better, food (like these seasonal plant-based protein bars).

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