Baby, It’s Cold Outside… Tips to Staying Motivated through the Winter

As the cold weather comes and temperatures drop, it often feels like our motivation levels are heading south for the winter too.  Extra snuggle time in bed is more appealing, while the gym and yoga studio seem further away than they ever have.  So how do you muster up the same enthusiasm during the winter that seems to come effortlessly in the warmer months?  Here are five tips that will help raise your body temps and your incentive to get up and moving:

1.      Warm Up

Getting out of your cozy bed in the morning is hard enough, but when there’s a chill in the air and frost on the windows, it can feel downright brutal.  Heading straight into the hot shower is a great incentive to wake up and stay warm.  It’s also a useful way to get ready for your morning working out.  Muscles are normally stiff when we first wake up, and a hot shower helps get the blood flowing, relaxing and warming up the body.

2.      Drink Up

What a hot shower does for the outside of your body, a hot drink will do for the inside.  Starting your day with some hot lemon water will not only warm you up, but will also help hydrate and flush toxins out of the body.  Aiding digestion, maintaining pH levels, and improving the immune system are some additional benefits that have been linked to drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning.  Furthermore, because the cold weather air is drier, sipping on a hot beverage throughout the day, like water or tea, will help keep you both warm and hydrated all day long.

3.      Grab a Friend

It’s all too easy to find an excuse for skipping a workout or yoga class when you’ve got no one to answer to.  But having a regular exercise buddy encourages accountability and serves as valuable motivation.  A partner will persuade you on the days you need a little boost, and spending quality time together on a challenging activity will feel both valuable and rewarding.

4.      Set a Goal

Setting a goal - no matter how large or small - gives purpose to your actions.  Whether it’s deepening your backbend or swimming that extra lap, having a target to work toward serves as incentive.  Keeping a visual reminder of your goal around is a great way to stay on track too.  Sticking a photo of that cute Olympic swimmer on the fridge, or subscribing to your favorite yoga magazine will remind your why hard work pays off.

5.      Stay at Home

When the roads are slick and the snow is heavy, heading outdoors is not always the most tempting - or the safest - idea.  A home practice can be an invaluable tool to turn to.  Having a dedicated area somewhere in your living space – even a small corner of a room – will help keep you focused.  And guidance can be found in a multitude of places.  There are countless DVDs and online resources with knowledgeable teachers to lead you through your home practice.  With a little bit of preparation and the right mindset your motivation and practice can flourish all twelve months of the year.