Whether you've been working out for some time or you've just begun, it seems as though the winter months are some of the hardest times to get to the gym. It might be the holidays holding you back, the cold weather, or just not knowing what to do inside the gym. If you need help staying fit through March 20th, following these steps is a good place to begin:
Identify Your Goals
First off, focus on why you want to work out in the first place. You may have a goal that you're working towards or maybe you are just now thinking of what goal to have. Think about S.M.A.R.T. goals:
Setting these expectations for yourself will help get you started. Then think about how you will feel once you've hit it.
Fuel Your Motivation
Do you need a little "pick-me-up" to get yourself into the gym? Try some caffeine! A little goes a long way in getting your body awake and ready to move. An 8 ounce cup of coffee is the perfect way to get going.
If coffee isn't your thing, a type of pre-workout will be your best bet for warming up by getting your heart rate going. There are so many different kinds to choose from. You just have to find which one is safe, effective, and works best with your body.
Then, make sure you always have protein on hand after your workout. Protein helps support the recovery process that your body goes through afterwards and promotes lean muscle mass and maintenance.
Make It a Group Effort
Maybe your headphones just won't cut it this time and you need someone to talk you through your workout. That's okay! Try bringing a friend with you to the gym. Having someone with you is a perfect motivator, whether you are competitive or you just want someone there to talk to. You can get each other motivated and hold one another accountable by making sure you both get your winter workouts in and stay on track with the right foods.
Always make sure rest is in your schedule. During the cold weather months, our bodies are highly susceptible to sickness and viruses. Sometimes training on top of that doesn't help your body out at all. Your body needs good sleep and rest days to recover so that it's able to perform properly on the days you do train hard. This doesn't mean take advantage of those rest days. Just listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, you feel fatigued and weak; maybe it's a sign to have a good rest day.
Stay On Track
Don't let cold weather stop you and your fitness goals. You are capable of anything you set your mind to. You just have to stick with it. Goals take time and you may want to be outside training, but work with what you have and run with it. Grab your friends and get into the gym together. Make it fun! Take good care of your body. We only get one, so why not put all we have into it to make it better and stronger?