Today's guest post is from Larissa - another super fab #sweatpink sistah & admitted hibernation fan. Check our her blog here and feel free to follow her on Twitter while you're at it!
Winter is upon us, and I am one of the first to go into hibernation.
I hate cold weather. My favorite temperature is 95 degrees and I don’t mind humidity. I’m shivering at 50 degrees and an ice cube below that. My hands and feet are perpetually cold.
Needless to say, I really don’t like winter. Cold weather, gray skies, big sweaters and holidays do a little something negative to my motivation.
Staying fit during the winter months is flat out tough. Here are a few tips that help me stay motivated:
1. Good cold–weather gear.
I’m a frugal newly–wed still hacking away at school loans, so we really don’t spend a lot of money. Good workout gear isn’t really high on our needs list, but I have collected a few staples.
· Soft long–sleeve top. I have a half–zip fleece top with a high collar. This works great for cool weather and is thin enough to put a jacket over in the cold.
· A similar full–zip jacket. In cool weather, I may take off the jacket, so having it unzip fully makes this easier.
· A warm but lightweight active coat. I have a Fila Performance jacket that I absolutely love. The torso the sleeve lengths are perfect and it stays in place when I move. Some zipper pockets make it perfect.
· Long pants, of course. I really don’t like working out in pants, but I’ve collected some decent ones. I do need a good active pair of leggings (rather than yoga pants that have a flair) so the cold air doesn’t get up under the hem.
· Some good thick gloves and a hat or headband that covers my ears.
I don’t like working out in sweatshirts or anything with a hood; too bulky. I look for pieces that are warm, but lightweight and slim. I know there is a ton of great gear out there; this is just an example of what works for me on a small budget.
Plus, regardless of the season, who doesn’t love some new clothes? I’m also motivated to work out if it means I can wear something new that I love.
2. Move indoors.
I’m an outdoors person – running, biking, walking, swimming, sports, etc. – but I do appreciate a good HIIT or strength workout in my living room. Some of my favorites include a Greatist workout of the day, a ZWOW from Zuzka Light, a video from Bex Boruki… or put together a set of your favorite exercises.
I like to keep a calendar or notebook to track my reps and time so I can see my improvement. An added plus is these workouts tend to take less time than a run. This season has a habit of being busy. That, paired with less motivation overall, can be a dangerous combination for our health.
Write down three or four of your favorite interval circuits so you always have something on hand. I always like new ones, of course, but if I’m in a hurry or feeling lazy, it helps to have sets I can pull out anytime.
3. Change expectations.
During warm weather, I run a lot. The focus is more on building distance, working to increase speed, and spending hours of my weekend on the trail.
In the winter, I shift my goals to strength training. Right now I’m doing lots of squats, pushups and planks. As a runner, these core and leg exercises can make a big difference out on the pavement.
With regard to weight goals, I don’t really try to lose this time of year. I step on the scale maybe once a week to make sure I’m staying on track. Because guess what? It’s cold, we worked really hard in the summer and fall and it’s holiday time! We all know how to take care of our bodies, we know to not go crazy.
And we know that we all need to little break sometimes. So enjoy yourself! Enjoy your pie, enjoy the traveling and gifts and late night and the time away from your normal workouts. January will come soon enough and spring is around the corner.
The main thing for me is that I’m not expecting significant running improvement or weight loss during the winter. I’m expecting to have a great holiday season and then I’m expecting to work hard in other ways to improve my overall strength when the cold keeps me in inside.
What are your holiday and winter tips? I’m sure there are many other great ideas and I’d love to hear them!