The calendar says that Spring is just around the corner but depending on where you are around the country it certainly doesn’t feel like it. With the polar vortex still bringing plenty of cold temperatures, ice and snow to much of the US we still have a few weeks where it might be more appealing to curl up next to a fire than be active. Whether you are training for a running event, triathlon or just trying not to pack on winter weight, below are some tips anyone can use to stay motivated until Mother Nature brings warmer temps and sunshine.
1) Have a workout partner or join a group – Statistics show when someone is relying on you to workout you’ll actually show up. Studies show that you are less likely to let a friend down and friends encourage each other to keep going and will therefore burn more calories than working out alone. Same goes for a group. Join a running group, triathlon training group, cross-fit group, etc.
2) Keep it simple, smarty (K.I.S.S.) – this is my favorite tip – Keep it simple: go for a 25-minute run around the office block at lunch, do three laps of your neighborhood first thing, or switch things up at the gym by using only the cardio machines you don’t have to wait for. You’ll finish a quality workout with less hassle and at a pace that feels rewarding.
3) Embrace the great outdoors – go skiing (cross-country, alpine), snowboarding, ice-skating, snowshoeing,
4) Utilize your online community – By proclaiming your intention to workout each day on Facebook, Twitter, your blog or other areas of your online community you can strengthen your commitment, even if it is to avoid the embarrassment and guilt of not following through.
5) Plan ahead – Find a race for end of March or early April and plan out your workouts 4-6 weeks out and put them on your calendar and make yourself accountable.
6) Set mini-goals for major rewards – Set small targets that lead to higher intensity, focus and discipline to stay on track each day. Perhaps the number of miles this week, the number of workouts over the next seven days, or steady improvements in strength gains on the bench press. For maximum motivation, always write your goals down, making them specific and measurable, and track progress so you can reward yourself for the results.
7) Try something new – Do you need a physical break from what you’ve always done to give your body time to recover and heal?
Take a yoga or pilates class. They are easy on the joints but provide great lasting benefits.
Most importantly remember what works for you. If you find yourself motivated in the summer, what specifically created that motivation: Targets? Goals? Friends? Coach? Competition? The great outdoors? How can you tap into the driving force and the feeling it creates in the summer and replicate it to something similar now.
Data for this article was compiled in part from an article used with permission from Chris Janzen | TriathleteMind.com. Thanks for the tips Chris!