Guest Post by:
Brittany Darling, MS, ATC
As we enter the New Year, the busy schedule is not the only thing getting in the way of staying active. Around this time of year we also see the weather changing and getting colder everyday, with daylight becoming less and less. This time of year, in my opinion, is the absolute worst for staying in shape. I have come up with some tips that may be helpful to not let yourself fall into hibernation mode this year.
Get on a schedule. Creating a schedule that flows with your normal routine can make it easier to stick to work out plans. Write it down, or sign up for classes ahead of time based on what the upcoming work schedule looks like. I have found that getting up a half hour earlier and doing something active really helps to get the day started. Getting your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping first thing in the morning will have a direct effect on the rest of your day. I think morning workouts are especially effective this time of the year because it is dark by 5pm, so it allows you to relax when you get out of work knowing you have already done your exercising for the day.
Try something new. If you are getting bored with the same old gym scene, and it’s obviously too cold to run outside, and then try a new class somewhere else. You may even be able to put your current gym membership on hold for a month. I would highly recommend a yoga class, especially one that has a warm and/or hot class that they offer. It’s great to walk in from the cold to a heated room this time of year. This may also introduce your body, as well as your mind, to something new. A great way to stay committed is to sign up and pay for the class ahead of time, this way you are motivated to not waste the money you spent.
Start a home exercise plan. Depending on what level of activity you are looking for, it is very possible to accomplish your fitness goals right from home. Again, it will be beneficial to think of a time that works best for your schedule, whether it is in the morning or at night in order to stay consistent. There is a variety of phone apps out there right now that outline a basic body weight routine for you and track your progress. You can also implement your own, for example: body squats, push-ups, plank hold, jump rope and max out every other day. These are basic exercises that take no more than 10 minutes to complete, but you can easily track gradual improvements as your max becomes higher each week.
Overall the hardest part always seems to be getting started and beginning the exercise. Find your own personal motivation and use it to keep you going. Just keep reminding yourself that spring is right around the corner!