Updated: Jan 15
Buried underneath the coats and the scarves, your summer self is waiting. It’s waiting for the snow to melt and the sun to shine so it can emerge looking sexier and hotter than ever. I know it doesn’t feel like now, especially right in the middle of this abnormally cold winter, but it’s there.
Nothing can kill your motivation to get fit faster than a blast of cold weather. If you’re stuck indoors for your workouts, you may worry about getting bored and losing your focus on fitness. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can stay on track when the temperature drops.
1. Invest in Inexpensive Home Gym Equipment
It’s hard to get off track with your fitness regimen when you’ve invested in a home gym. In fact, your excuses go right out the window when you don’t have to venture out into the cold to maintain your regiment. Fitness guru Denise Austin suggests purchasing a set of dumbbells, a jump rope, and a balance ball to begin building your home gym.
Two- or three-pound dumbbells are perfect for strengthening your arms, and jumping rope increases your heart rate before you work on strength. The balance ball will help you target your abdominals and legs when you work out, and it will improve your posture and tone your abdominals when you sit on it while watching television or working on your computer.
2. Challenge Yourself
While you can’t totally recreate your outdoor workout inside, you can challenge yourself when you hit the gym. If you’re looking to improve your endurance and mimic the outdoors, create hills indoors by incrementally raising and lowering the incline on a cardio machine. You’ll work out your heart and lungs and build your lower body at the same time.
Try increasing the incline by one percent every minute and maintain your pace as you gradually build to a 10 percent incline. Once you’ve mastered your faux hill, slowly work back to your starting position by decreasing the incline by one percent every minute. Bikers can challenge yourself in the same way by increasing and decreasing the resistance rather than the incline.
3. Explicitly State Your Fitness Goals
It’s nearly impossible to achieve a goal if you aren’t sure what you’re working toward. Explicitly stating your fitness goals is a must so you can stay motivated and mark your progress in achieving them, especially when you’re stuck indoors for your workout. If you’re not sure where to begin in setting your goals, consider these health and fitness goals from BodyBuilding.com: drink more water, remember the importance of rest days, focus on form and feel the muscle contraction, choose at least one health goal, and try at least one new activity.
Setting health and wellness goals is important for everyone, but it’s a must for people in addiction recovery: “When seeking therapy for substance use, many counselors also recommend pursuing a physical wellness plan to combat not only the physical effects of substance use, but also to promote the general well-being of patients.”
Recovery involves becoming sober and moving forward with a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that emphasizes physical wellness. When you set goals to improve your physical health during recovery, you have a much better chance of staying on track and repairing some of the damage done to your body when you abused drugs or alcohol.
4. Don’t Relax Until You’ve Worked Out
It’s tempting on cold days to come home from work and relax on the couch. Before you know it, you’ve spent the entire night relaxing and missed your workout. The trick is to remind yourself to work out inside by changing into your exercise clothes as soon as you get home.
Help the kids with homework while you strengthen your arms using your dumbbells, or walk on the treadmill. Or, complete your squats, push-ups, crunches, and high knees when the commercials come on during your favorite show. Use relaxation as a reward for working out indoors, and you’ll stay on track no matter the weather.
Don’t let cold weather derail your physical fitness goals. Maintain your motivation by investing in inexpensive home gym equipment, challenging yourself, stating your fitness goals, and using relaxation as a reward for working out inside. The more you stick to your regimen when the temperature drops, the better your outdoor workouts will be when the weather improves.