I spent the first 25 years of my life in Wisconsin.. I get it. Exercising in the cold can be difficult. With temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, getting outside for some exercise isn’t always an option. Some folks absolutely love being outside in the winter, however I was never one of those people. Since moving to Florida, admittedly, I no longer deal with this problem. However, I still have some strategies that can help you take your winter workouts to the next level.
Don’t Make Excuses
The first step to making progress is to leave your excuses behind. As with anything in life, excuses become a main barrier to our success. If you enable lazy behavior because, “It’s cold outside,” you will never make exercise a part of your routine.
There are several non-negotiables that I have in my life. Exercise has always been one of them (yes, even when I lived in Wisconsin). Establishing your own set of non-negotiables is incredibly important for your health. Once you liberate yourself from the chains of excuse, you are headed in the right direction. If you miss a day or don’t feel like you gave it your all in a workout, acknowledge that, figure out a plan to improve, and move forward. There is no time to dwell on failure or excuses. There are still plenty of ways to stay active throughout the cold months.
Focus On Activity
One common mistake people make is they focus on the performance aspect of exercise instead of the execution. For example, when you are committed to running 10 miles per week and a snowstorm hits, you may need to shift your goal from performance to execution. Could you substitute your running workout for a home strength circuit? How about some other form of conditioning? The sky’s the limit!
Staying fixated on very specific goals without a backup plan can cause room for you to be discouraged when bad weather comes your way. Prioritizing daily activity precludes you from focusing too narrowly on a specific type of exercise. Unless you are training for a competition or a specific sport, activity is the main goal of your fitness routine.
You Don’t Need Equipment or a Gym
Once you shift your mindset, you will be open to more possibilities. One common excuse I hear is, “I don’t like the gym – so winter leaves me with less opportunity to exercise.”
Yes, if you prefer to exercise outdoors, cold weather may render you with fewer possibilities. However, you are never without options. There are nearly infinite combinations of movements, exercises, circuits, and stretches that you can do from the comfort of your own home/garage. This was a mindset shift that really took me some time. My training used to always consist of moving a heavy barbell. Without a home gym, I always felt that I couldn’t get a good workout from home. Not true at all! Now, I get some of my BEST workouts in from home. If you have a little creativity (or a coach who can think outside-the-box, you may be surprised at the sweat you can get rolling in your own living room.
Thank goodness that winter has an end. I relate to people that struggle to exercise during the cold months because I was one of them. However, dropping the excuses, changing your mindset, and getting creative can serve you well during the winter! Be open to changing your exercise routine and focus on your daily activity! As we know, every little bit counts.
If you have a method or tip that works for you to exercise during the coldest part of the year, let us know! We’re always looking to add to our Milo programming and we learn a great deal from our audience!
Until next time, stay warm and stay moving!