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how to motivate yourself to exercise during winter

It’s time for your regular workout! It’s easy to jog briskly out the door when it’s sunny and the birds are chirping, or when there’s an invigorating autumn chill and a bright blue sky.

But what about when the wind is howling, the snow is blowing, or the freezing rain threatens to soak right through your warmest jacket? Not so fun, right?

You may be tempted to curl up under blankets in front of the TV and sip cocoa all winter. While you can totally do that from time to time, consider finding some ways to warm up and work out indoors, where you’re protected from the wintry weather.

Here are some tips on how to motivate yourself to exercise during Winter, plus some fun workout ideas!

Do Yoga

You can do yoga at home anytime! All you need is a clear space and a yoga mat, or a large piece of thick carpet.

Pop in your favorite yoga DVD, or find a free yoga video online (my favorite is Yoga By Adrienne on Youtube – it’s free). By the end of the session, you’ll feel fitter and more refreshed.

Use the Sofa

Put on a TV show and go to your sofa— but don’t sit down! Take those cushions off and use the bare sofa as a base for some tricep dips. Or leave the cushions on, sit on the edge of your sofa, and practice some seated scissors. Stick your legs straight out, then cross them back and forth over each other like scissors. If you fold your arms over your chest while doing this, you’ll give your core a good workout.

There’s lots of other great workouts you can do in your living room watching TV – crunches, push ups, planks, lying leg lifts, donkey kicks, the list goes on…

Do A Home Workout!

Don’t have a weight set? No problem! Fill some gallon jugs or large juice bottles with water, or grab a couple packs of rice, and voila! Your very own free weights. Try some Russian twists or regular lifts with your homemade weights.

I’ve got lots of free workouts on my blog that you can try, and all of them can be done from home! Otherwise you can check out my follow at home workouts in the Lean Legs Training Club!

Combine Stretches with Cleaning

Is there something in your home that needs a good, thorough scrubbing? Why not invest your workout time in cleaning the floors, scrubbing pots, or washing windows? Be aware of your muscles and movements as you work— put some effort into it!

If you’re mopping, sweeping, or washing, do some longer movements and really stretch those muscles! You’ll be limbering up your body and getting housework done at the same time! Plus house work actually burns LOTS of calories – win win!

Get in Some Steps

Do you have steps in your home? Just going up and down those things will give your glutes and hammies a workout! Swing your arms as you go to get them in on the action, and don’t forget to play some peppy tunes to keep yourself moving.

If you lack steps, find a sturdy box or order a stepper so you can keep the action hot even when it’s cold outside.

Another way to get in some steps without actually going outside is to do some walking at the office or in a shopping center! If you’re at work – get up from your desk every hour and do a walk around the entire office (or even 2 laps if it’s small). Set a timer so you don’t forget.

And if you just want to get out for a walk but the weather is horrible outside, drive to a shopping center and do some laps (and maybe a bit of window shopping while you’re at it)!

Go Out Anyway

If you’re feeling courageous, you can always bundle up and brave the elements in your warmest gear. I was in the Netherlands at an Airbnb once, and our host got home from work at 9pm, put on her warm gear and went out in the snow for a walk. Now THAT is dedication!

But just remember that you need to take note of other factors like precipitation and wind chill, not just the temperature. According to the Mayo Clinic, “at wind chill levels below minus 18 F (minus 28 C), frostbite can occur on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less.” Ouch! Plus, getting soaked with sleet or rain lowers your core body temperature a lot faster. So if you do choose to exercise outside, even in the cold, take precautions and don’t go too far from shelter in case the weather worsens.

Got some killer tips for indoor warm-ups and exercises? Share them in the comments so we can all stay safe, warm, and fit until spring shows up! xx

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