Cold winds smack you in the face as you cross the street. It’s 6PM but it already looks like midnight. You’re in the depths of winter, and all you want to do is go home to your warm apartment, turn on the TV and eat snacks.
This is the easiest time of year to give up on your fitness goals. Even if you don’t want to exercise in the summer, it’s enjoyable to go out for a run or a long walk. In the winter, few outdoor activities are even remotely pleasant.
While it’s true that some of your fitness goals might fall by the wayside, this is not the time of year to simply give up. In five to six months you may be parading around in a bathing suit (even sooner if you’re planning a spring break). However, you might need to readjust your fitness goals to accommodate your newfound laziness.
Here are a few easy swaps to get you through the winter:
Stop running, start lifting
Runners, tennis players, and other outdoor athletes burn many calories when they do their outdoor sports. When those activities stop, something else needs to pick up the slack. Adding in an additional day of weight training per week is the perfect solution. Not only will you continue to burn calories, but you can also take more time to focus on building muscle and strength.
Stronger legs help you run faster and further. Gaining muscle during the winter can help you hit the ground running if you play outdoor sports. You might even find that you’re a little faster than the previous year!
Meditate and Stretch
Less outdoor time gives you more time to spend doing this like stretching, meditating, and breathing. Try to pick up one new hobby in the winter. Doing a mindfulness or breathing technique can help with seasonal depression and get your mind off of work or family-related stress. It’s easy to find 5 or 10-minute practices that you can do consistently every day!
You don’t need to be Hercules, but gaining a little strength in the winter can boost your confidence. The winter is the perfect time to gain strength because you don’t have to move as much as you do in the summer. Less moving around during the day gives you more energy to hit the weights. Those lucky individuals who want to gain a little weight and muscle also benefit from the winter season.