How To Stick With Your Workout This Winter

January is such a weird time for me when it comes to my workouts. I have all the motivation to hit the gym — until I look out the window or step outside. Then I just want to run back inside and hibernate.

But, my fitness journey stops for no one, including Mother Nature, so here are four things to help us get our winter workouts in, regardless of the temperature or wind factor outside.
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Bust A Midday Move
Darkness is a gym buzz kill for me, so my normal 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. workouts aren't as appealing. I just can't seem to hop out of bed when my alarm goes off if it's still pitch black outside. And, at night, when I leave the office (and the lack of sunlight makes it feel like 10 p.m. instead of 6 p.m.), it can be super hard to motivate and go straight to the gym. With the limited daylight that we have in winter affecting my typical exercise times, I've been slipping workouts in during my lunch break when bright sunshine makes a trip to the gym more inviting.

If your gym is close to your work, make your lunch break a brisk walk on the treadmill or a half hour in the weight room.

Practice Evening Yoga
With so many online yoga videos available, it's nice to come home, light my favorite candles, roll out my mat, and do some back bends in my living room. Practicing yoga in the evening has become something I look forward: I get to skip the gym and retreat to my cozy apartment, where I get to set the mood and get my body moving. An extra bonus is that I sleep like a baby afterward.

If, like me, you find your workout motivation waning, consider skipping the 90-minute yoga class that most studios offer and instead head home and pop in a DVD that gets your heart rate up. Even if you only put in 25 minutes, that's something.
Take Advantage Of Extra Time
I've started to think of my winter workouts as a reserve for the summer workouts I am bound to skip when there are so many fun things and events that get in the way of my regimen. Now that the holidays are over, I dont have a calendar chock-full of social engagements, but once Memorial Day comes around, I know my outings will pick up again in a big way. Since I know it's often easier for me to skip the gym in favor of rooftop cocktails, I try to take advantage of the winter's slower social scene. Maybe that's why they say summer bodies are made in winter?

It's helpful to think of your free nights as opportunities to get a workout in, no matter what kind. This takes some self-discipline, to be sure, but you'll feel less guilty about the workout you skip when the nice weather hits. 

Shake It Up & Spend Some Money
I always sign up for a new class during the winter. Something new and exciting kind of tricks my mind into looking forward to my workouts. Plus, if there’s a specific schedule (say, the class is once a week on Tuesday nights), then I keep the appointment, and if I’ve paid a little extra for the class, I definitely make sure my money is well spent by not skipping. Find something that requires some kind of commitment. This may mean signing up for a class in advance online or registering for a special month-long ride pass at your local cycling studio. If you've put money toward it and it's new to you, you won't likely miss it because you "don't feel like working out."

Treating ourselves for good work can do amazing things for mind and body. If this means investing in a pricey gym membership, great. If it means running a leisurely bubble bath following a soothing yoga workout, I say go for it. Whatever keeps you going this winter and makes you feel strong and fit is worth it.
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