So, you’ve made a couple of New Year’s resolutions around sticking to a training routine and increasing your strength and endurance. But now you find yourself in January and, man, is it ever cold outside! And dark! Don’t forget dark. Why there’s barely enough daylight to get your workout in and when it feels like this who want to train anyway?!?
Okay, deep breaths. Before you decide to pack it in and wait for spring, let’s take a moment to reassess. Winter training can be tough sledding, but it can also be very rewarding. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you get started and stay motivated throughout the winter months.
- Start with a plan, Stan
You can’t just go to the gym or hit the road without knowing what you want to accomplish. Set goals for weight, repetitions and mileage and then build up to those goals deliberately and methodically. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to reach a difficult goal the first time you try. Give yourself permission to start slow and achieve reasonable benchmarks until you’re ready to push yourself a little further. You’ll be pleased with your progress and surprised how quickly you get to where you want to be.
- Find a workout buddy
Sometimes the best motivation to work out is another person. Or people, for that matter. When you train with a friend, the benefits go way beyond just having someone to spot you on the bench press. An exercise partner gives you companionship and social support as you go through your routine. Having someone to talk to can also make the time go faster and maybe even make the whole experience more fun. Not to mention the fact that you’ll want to show up for each other as much as you want to show up for yourself. Group exercise classes are another great option as well.
- Fuel with food to win
It’s so easy to let good nutrition slide in the winter months. Cold weather seems to bring on heavy meals and sweet indulgences that are far less tempting when it’s nice out. Make sure you get plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. They’ll keep your energy and your mood on the upswing. Eat lean meats and fish for protein and try not to rely on stews, chowders and pot pies to warm you up. And listen, if you want to have an occasional cup of hot chocolate to ward off the chills, don’t let us stand in your way. In fact, make it a dark chocolate and you’ll get the benefit of healthy antioxidants along with your tasty treat.
- Gear up with actual gear
Does freezing your posterior off make you want to go outside and exercise? Of course not. So, if you’re going to train outside this winter, make sure you’ve got the right clothing. It goes beyond just throwing on a hat and gloves, although these are also essential items for braving the cold. You want to dress in layers, starting something warm, soft and stretchy against your skin. There are plenty of base layers available from your favorite athletic brand or store. Build on top of that layer with running shirts or sweatshirts and then top it off with a vest or jacket. When you’re warm and comfy, not even the wickedest winter chill can stop you.
- Keep plenty of HOTSHOT on hand
While getting into a new routine is often mentally challenging, the physical grind can be just as demotivating. Muscle soreness and muscle cramping are common for those embarking on a training campaign. You can treat and actually prevent these issues with HOTSHOT. Drink HOTSHOT for Muscle Soreness 15-30 minutes before your workout to avoid that next day discomfort. And, if you get a cramp during training, drink HOTSHOT for Muscle Cramps for immediate relief.
The new year is a great time for setting new fitness goals. Don’t let cold weather or the winter blues keep you from meeting and exceeding those goals. Plan, prepare, persevere and, most importantly, believe in yourself. There’s no better recipe for success.