I must admit: It’s hard for me to feel motivated to stay fit in the winter. I get to hide behind sweaters and jackets and don’t have to worry about being in a bathing suit anytime soon. I do know, however, that it’s important for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle all year round.
I’ll also admit that I am going to splurge on Christmas Day, so I’m definitely reserving that as a cheat day — which is why it’s important for me to be healthy during the rest of December and the following winter months.
When I look out the window and see that it’s snowing, the last thing I am going to do is put on running shoes and head outside, so I have to find ways to be active and to get excited about it. Here are some ways I have found that keep me interested in exercise when it’s so chilly out.
1. Take a water aerobics class.
This seems silly, because I just told you I was relieved to not need to wear a swimsuit for a while, but there’s no need to worry about being in a swimsuit for an aerobics class. After all, you will need one of those sporty one pieces (and nobody really looks FANTASTIC in one of those things anyway… haha).
If you can find a local gym that has an indoor pool, this will give you a change of pace from typical workouts. And the warm pool water will feel nice. Plus, you work nearly every muscle when you do a water workout, so be ready to see quick changes!
2. Actually USE those workout DVDs you’ve owned for 10 years.
I’m really talking to myself here…seriously, I have like 12 workout DVDs that I’ve never even opened. It’s so important to show your kids the importance of exercise, and what better way than to work out while they are in the room? Not only will they see you being active, but if you have toddlers, they can even participate a little bit. And if your little one won’t stay in one place while you are trying to get your workout in, pick up one of these awesome Finding Nemo jumpers so they can jump around a bit just like Mommy!
3. Do “muscle minutes.”
My friend Sarah encouraged me to try these. She is a mom of two and knows how hard it can be to set aside an hour for a workout during a busy day. She does random “muscle minutes” throughout the day, where she times herself and does as many squats as she can in a minute, or as many push-ups as she can in a minute, even if she needs to take breaks in between sets of 10. If you are intentional about doing these muscle minutes, then by the end of the day you could have worked out for 15-30 minutes. Any little bit helps, so I love the idea of muscle minutes.
4. Get it out of the way first thing in the morning.
I have found if I put workout clothes on to start my day, then I’m more likely to hit the gym early. In the winter it gets dark earlier, and I know once the sun goes down I am much less likely to go to the gym.
5. Enlist a buddy.
Accountability is huge for me when it comes to staying active. If I enlist a workout buddy, we can offer new ideas for fun workouts and have someone to check in with, making sure we get our workouts done.
6. Most importantly: Believe in yourself!
Hey, if you can be a momma, you can work out. Giving birth was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, and I always say if I can do that, I can do anything. But it’s not only giving birth that gives us the right to say we can do anything — just the task of being a parent or even a step parent earns us that right. So be proud of all you do for your kiddos and let that encourage you that you can truly do anything you set your mind to.