Ah yes, the winter months are here! The leaves begin to fall, pumpkin spice is in the air, and our diets and training – um — go out the window. Well, at least for me. It’s the time we can’t resist Mom’s homemade stuffing, Grandma’s cranberry sauce, or my favorite holiday food of them all: leftovers. So, here’s some tips to stay focused but still enjoy this special season. Don’t let the cold put a cramp in your winter fitness goals, or affect everything you’ve worked hard for all year! Here we go:
1. Don’t bail on your workout schedule
Most of the time, the winter weather slows us down. It’s too cold and it gets darker earlier. Quite honestly, we all just want to get home, have family time and relax on the couch once it gets dark. The catch is… it’s only 5:30 PM! Keep with your normal workout regimen and stick to it, whether it’s running, going to the gym, or working out at home.
2. Invest in cold weather gear
The weather during the winter months can quickly shut down your motivation to work out, but proper active wear can help. If the weather is too frigid for you, layer up! Investing in suitable lightweight but warm cold weather workout gear will help you stay dry and warm when you’re training outside. A breathable waterproof jacket is a game changer too, and it’s worth the cost.
3. Consider a lunchtime workout
Getting out and about in the daylight a few times a week when its warmer and lighter outside can keep you energized. You won’t have to worry about rushing to the gym after work (or dragging your tired self there beforehand!) Also, when family events get into full swing, you won’t have to sacrifice as much of your routine. This is a key part of winter fitness, when we’re all so busy and it’s challenging to find the time.
4. Find a workout partner
When you can just roll over in bed on those extra cold days, it’s hard to get moving. But when someone is depending on you to meet up, you certainly don’t want to be the one to let them down. It keeps your focused and motivated in the winter grind, and a little competition never hurt anyone either!
5. Drink healthy
Too much eggnog or holiday drinks at your events can really throw a wrench in things. Try spacing out alcoholic beverages with a bottle of water or even a soda and lime. It can cut calories and keep you hydrated through the evening so you can feel good, consume less, and still have fun with friends and family. (And of course, be safe and responsible too.)
6. A special way to prioritize your “cheat days”
Eating a few holiday meals and indulging won’t completely trash your diet. However, there’s a caveat! Make sure you prioritize your holiday “cheat days” based on your favorite foods. That way, you’re eating the bad foods you really, really love and not just absentmindedly stuffing your face. Not having any fun isn’t healthy either! But doing this can maintain a balance.
Come into spring break ready to go
I’ve found these tips to help me during the winter months, and I hope they help you too. Have fun during the holidays and you’ll be ready to crush your goals next year when the cold lifts!