Fitness

How to stay motivated in cold weather

“Exercising during colder months can stave off the winter blues, so if you get down from a lack of Vitamin D or the cold weather it can lift your mood”

Feeling the chill and the familiar decrease in motivation loss when it's a wee bit fresh outside? You’re not alone friends. Even in Spring mornings can be a little de-motivating. That’s why we’ve asked Aquanation personal trainer Michelle Flarve for her top tips for staying active when it’s cold and gloomy outside.

Why you should workout when it’s cold

If your motivation for working out is waning when mornings are consistently very fresh, there’s a bunch of reasons to keep going even when the going gets tough (Melbourne morning temps we’re looking at you).

Firstly, exercise is dynamite for your mental health. “Exercising during colder months can stave off the winter blues, so if you get down from a lack of Vitamin D or the cold weather it can lift your mood,” assures Flarve.

Not only will you be summer ready when the sun finally comes out to play, but if you’re somebody who loves shaking things up, seasonal workouts are a great way to keep your routine interesting by adapting your workout to the weather. For example, you can try workouts that require minimal space and equipment during winter (think yoga or core workouts) then get outdoors when the sun’s shining (think strapping on your hiking boots).

If you love a sweaty workout session

Sweating equals a better workout, right? Nope. We can all be forgiven for thinking that the sweatier workouts we can experience in the warmer months equal more calories burnt, but as Flarve explains sweat is not an indicator of a good workout.

“Some people think if you sweat more you burn more calories, that’s not the case,” says the personal trainer.

Flarve adds “sweating is the cooling process that your body goes through to help you maintain a steady body temperature and not all of us perspire a lot, everybody reacts differently to cooling down.”

So, for some motivational sprinkles on your winter workout cupcake, Flarve reckons that working harder to regulate your temperature may help you burn more calories

“Our bodies actually burn more calories trying to stay warm than it does cooling down and you can even perspire trying to keep warm.”

Her suggestion has merit with a 2002 Dutch study finding that participants burnt an extra four to six percent more calories by lowering the room temperature from 21 degrees Celsius to 15 degrees Celsius.

Here’s your action plan

Buckle up friends, you’re about to get super motivated now cause Flarve has some easy to follow tips for you to keep the good times rolling all year round:

  1. Get your gear ready the night before, so when you get out of bed you’re ready to go.
  2. Catch some zzz’s and get an early night so you wake up fresh.
  3. Get a workout buddy. This way you can keep each other honest and motivated. And if you can’t hit the gym together do a virtual workout together.
  4. Think about how you’re going to feel afterwards. Nobody ever says: “oh I wish I didn’t do that workout.”
  5. Mix it up and try some new exercises like walking, yoga or bike riding to keep things interesting.
  6. Keep a journal of what days you worked out, what exercises you did and try and better that each time.
  7. Set a fitness goal. If you’re doing fitness outdoors it could be I want to run or ride a certain distance in a certain time or if you’re at the gym it might be weights based or finishing a circuit in a certain amount of time.
  8. Share your progress on apps to keep yourself accountable.
  9. Remind yourself of why it’s important to exercise. Remember it’s not just good for our body it’s good for our mind as well.
  10. Treat yourself to some new gym gear. Retail therapy is good for our mental health.
  11. Make sure you’re maintaining a healthy balanced diet. Nutrition plays a big part in achieving our health and fitness goals.
  12. Keep warm. Yep, pull on those gloves and beanies and start your workout warm so you can get straight into it.