How to find motivation to stay fit during winter

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Staying motivated in winter is never easy, especially when it’s so close to Christmas.

The nights are drawing in, the lights are sparkling and the festive films are calling, along with a duvet and an abundance of sugary goodness.

Check out these essential tips on how to stay fit during winter:

1. Home Workouts

Going out in the cold is one of the hardest parts of staying fit in winter, which is why home workouts become essential. There is always something you can do to keep up your routine, even if you can’t be bothered to leave the house.
Working out at home also means that you can exercise in front of the TV, which is HEAVEN at this time of year. Everybody knows that all the best shows come out in winter! During adverts you can look through Pinterest, which is a great place to get work out ideas which you can then do while you binge watch Riverdale or whatever it is you’re into (personally I like to do my squats in front of Gossip Girl but it’s totally your choice).

2. Hit the gym first thing in the morning

I’m much more of a morning person and always tend to go to the gym first thing, because I lose all motivation and energy by the end of the day, but it’s not always possible with lectures and deadlines. When it starts getting dark very early in the afternoon, it just seems like the perfect excuse to get the cosy pajamas out and snuggle on the sofa rather than face the outside world.

3. Youtube videos 

On cold days like that, my YouTube favourites like Popsugar Fitness and Yoga with Adriene are an absolute must. They have workouts for all abilities, all goals and all muscle groups, which means you can still hit your targets without hitting the gym. Working out in pajamas is like a dream come true for me.

4. Yoga

Yoga is also brilliant for these sluggish winter days as it doesn’t always require maximum effort but allows you to really tune into your body and also helps you to clear your mind. Doing yoga has helped my balance, flexibility and mindfulness, which helps with both my other workouts and my everyday life.

5. Strength and resistance training

If you do feel that you need to go to the gym though for that extra bit of motivation (and to make the most of the membership fee), I’ve found that strength and resistance training rather than cardio are much more fun in the winter. A strong, healthy body is a brilliant goal to have, and I’ve found that I’ve had my best results from weight lifting rather hitting the treadmill. Again, there are loads of videos and posts online if you’re not sure how to use some of the machines or what to do with the free weights, and don’t be scared! Lifting isn’t just for big, scary men, you know.

6. Don’t force yourself 

The most important thing is to stay healthy and happy, though. Forcing yourself through a grueling work out when your heart just isn’t in it will never be beneficial. If I don’t want to work out, then I won’t, because I know I won’t really make any progress anyway. Committing to a strong, focused session a few times a week will always be better than exercising every day but doing it halfheartedly.

Focusing on results doesn’t always help either. Obviously it’s great to have a goal, but I find the best way to stay motivated is to do everything in moderation and not restrict yourself. Rather than obsessing over losing weight or ‘toning up’ or whatever it is you want to do, remember that exercise is a great way to stay healthy in both body and mind and is also a great stress buster during exam season.

I know it’s hard, but stay positive, stay focused, and STAY HAPPY! After all, t’is the season to be jolly and all that….

By Brogan Maguire

Madeleine and Hesther are your health & beauty editors

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