Pittsburgh winters can be brutal. Last year’s winter, for instance, was unusually cold and snowy, with 159% more snow on average than past Pittsburgh winters.
Maintaining your figure takes work – don’t let Old Man Winter get in the way. Whether you’re a regular jogger or you’re planning a New Year’s Resolution to get back into shape, one look at the snow outside might be enough to make you want to crawl back into bed. But, especially if you’ve undergone liposuction, a tummy tuck, or any other body-sculpting surgery, it’s important that you stay active all year (after you’ve had enough time to heal, of course).
The easy solution is to join a gym. But if you’re unwilling or unable to spring for a membership, here are five tips to keep you motivated to exercise this winter.
Revise Your Exercise Plan
If you’ve gotten into a routine that works for you during the summer and fall, it can be hard to accept that the winter has finally arrived. But it’s vital to be open to revising your exercise plan once the seasons change. That 6 a.m. jog you take every morning before work? It’s admirable, but unless you have an iron will, it might take all the joy out of staying active.
Be open to changing things up to make your workouts more effective and more enjoyable in the winter months. Try out options that aren’t available in the summer – skiing, sledding, ice skating, and snow ball fights are a lot more fun that lifting at the gym. Exercising can and should be something that you look forward to.
Prepare Yourself For the Elements
If your exercise plan does take you outside, make sure that you’re prepared for the elements. Five or ten minutes of indoor light aerobic exercise – jumping jacks, jogging in place, things like that – will warm your body up before you face the cold.
Winter gear is also important, both for comfort and for safety. Invest in exercise clothes that are warm but still allow you to move effectively, along with shoes that you can rely on to get a good grip on potentially slippery surfaces. These investments might cost more upfront, but you’ll reap dividends from being adequately prepared for your workout.
Find Ways to Stay In
There are plenty of ways to stay in and still stay fit. That might be a hard thing to accept if you’re a jogger, but if you can’t bring yourself to step outside, you can find ways to work out in your very own home.
Exercise equipment like treadmills and exercise bikes might be worthy investments in the winter. Place your treadmill in front of your television and you can stay fit, stay entertained and stay warm all at the same time. Workout DVDs can be a less expensive way to stay active indoors as well. There are tons of programs out there that require no equipment, so you can stay fit for the price of the DVD. Try a few and see what works for you!
Don’t Go It Alone
Your chances to stick to your workout routine are vastly improved if you involve another person. Social support keeps you dedicated and encouraged, not to mention the fact that exercising with friends can be a whole lot more fun than exercising alone.
Call or text a few friends and see if they would be interested in coming up with a workout plan with you. Chances are, if they aren’t already active, they’d be interested in becoming active, and working out together would help you both get and stay in shape.
Don’t Give Up!
Even if you follow all of these tips, the winter might still get the best of you sometimes. But don’t let it get you down. Even if you have to slow down, give yourself a few skip days and set your exercise bar a little lower, the important thing is that you stay active. Working out consistently throughout the year is far more effective than busting your butt all summer and letting yourself slide when the temperature drops.