I have a confession to make: I missed a run this week because I was freezing and wanted to stay under my doona. There, I said it. It happens. (And it was awesome for a while, but then I felt a bit bleurgh for the rest of the day, because I love to run.)
But what shouldn’t happen is that this becomes the norm until we all start to thaw out in September. That’s three months of sloth to contend with, and a whole lot of inertia to battle against down the track. Don’t do that to yourself. You need a winter workout plan.
Plus, for me and many others I know, it means three months of low moods and anxiety – and a dangerous dance with our old friend depression – if we don’t get out and move our bodies. Knowing that makes it much easier to get out from under that warm, snuggly, downy doona.
I love how I feel when I get moving, and so I’m putting a plan in place to ensure that happens regularly all through winter. I put together some answers to some common winter exercise excuses.
1. It’s cold!
Sleep in your workout gear if you plan to exercise in the morning. One of my biggest obstacles is getting out of bed and getting changed in the freezing dark of morning. Sleeping in my running gear means I can just get up and go. The faster I start running, the faster I will warm up!
2. It’s dark!
I know not everyone feels safe getting out in the dark on their own, and while it doesn’t bother me so much, I understand why it stops others. There are options, though. You could join a gym, or an outdoor group training class. Or if you don’t want to spend money, you could rope a friend into meeting you a few mornings/evenings each week. Or you could search for some great apps or online workouts to do at home, if you’re that way inclined (I suck at home work outs. I mean, the couch is right there – why would I work out in front of it when I could sit on it?). There is always something. Remember that woman who lost 700kg doing laps of her hills hoist? Come on, you can think of something. Decide and write yourself a plan.
3. I’m not motivated.
Newsflash, toots: you can create your own motivation. Set a goal. Join an online group. Find something that will get you out of bed. And if all else fails, try the old ‘just do it’ line. Waiting for motivation is a ridiculous venture. Because for the rest of the day, you can either feel awesome about the fact that you got up and got moving, or you can feel shite about the fact that you missed another workout. And then times that feeling by 80 to project how you’ll feel on the first day of spring. And you know, you only need to suck it up enough to make yourself get started and leave the house; after that, you are good to go. And if you still need a little help, follow our 8-hour running playlist on Spotify.
4. It doesn’t matter if I put on a bit of winter weight.
I don’t actually care what you weigh. Hell, I don’t even care what I weigh (Gillian and I threw away our scales long ago). But what I do care about is how you feel – and I hope you do too. And what it does for your heart and lungs, your resilience, your mental health, and the example you are setting your kids. Those are all important. This is not about the size of your jeans (but let that be a bonus if you like).
Do these excuses sound familiar? How do you keep up your exercise motivation in winter?