It is hard for me to accomplish cold weather exercise… Even worse, I feel completely justified when cold temperatures are my excuse to skip a workout routine because there is nothing I can do about it! Only God has control of the weather… Pretty sad, huh? Cold weather exercise, for some reason, is extremely difficult for me.

When it’s cold, I want to do nothing more than take a warm shower, put on sweat pants and a thermal, and chill on the couch with a Snuggie (don’t laugh). I’ll brew a cup of coffee or tea and be as content as ever. It just fits the season. Coming home when it’s dark and working out is not an appealing progression to the end of the day. It’s not until the next day or two that I feel fatigued and notice my muscles also beginning to hibernate…

Thankfully, from personal experience and through much client feedback, I have developed a five step system of motivation to help you get past cold weather exercise blues.

  1. Immediately change into workout clothes as soon as you get home. I have found this method to be extremely useful. I come home, change into shorts and a T-shirt and progress straight into the workout routine that I have planned for the day. I believe this method works because there is nothing more that I want to do than to get warm. Instead of relying on the shower and the heat, I let my muscles create the energy I need. Once I get past the first set of a workout, I get warm and want to stay that way! I know I can’t back out now, so I continue with the rest of my workout that keeps me warm well past my cold weather exercise session.
  2. Make the comfort of warmth a reward for a good workout. You are going to hate me after reading this- but you should feel guilty for coming home and sitting on the couch without giving your health the attention it deserves. Every moment you are “comfortable” your body is wearing down and your mind will tell you how guilty you should feel for skipping a reasonable 20-minute workout routine. Be disciplined and make sure you earn the reward of chill time by doing cold weather exercise.
  3. Turn up the heat in your house as soon as you get home. If you can’t get past cold weather exercise, give your house a few minutes to warm up before you get into your workout. While waiting for your house to warm up, take the time to knock out a few house chores that have been on your to do list. Vacuum, clean the kitchen, do some laundry. Because you are active, it will be a much easier transition into exercise.
  4. Run in place for 2 minutes. This practice is also one that helps to get me over the hump. It’s takes little to no effort to stand up and start walking or jogging in place. After 2 minutes you are breathing hard and maybe even sweating at this point. Now, you are one exercise into the workout, warm and thoroughly invested. Throw in a few other exercises and check your workout off the list.
  5. Remind yourself that now is the time to tighten up for the warm months. People like to wait until the Spring season to get into shape… Uhhhh… A little to late! Now is the time to change your diet, lose weight and adapt a regular workout program. Just think, every month you have the potential to lose 8-10 pounds per month! In addition, you will look more toned and feel much better. Make this “hibernation time” an opportunity to get ahead. Pamper yourself with exercise attention, so you can bust out in the Spring and turn some heads!

What keeps you from exercising in cold weather? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!