The temperature is dropping and your motivation to go to the gym is going down with it. Kristin McGee of Health understands it’s easier to hide under your cozy layers than brave the cold to workout. But exercise is still important, which is why she’s put together some helpful tips to keep you moving through the cold months.
Give yourself a caffeine boost: Take a swig of coffee to get you energized and set a routine. McGee recommends creating a set schedule around the beverage–follow up your morning cup of joe with a workout, so you have an associated routine around the drink.
Coffee also has its benefits while you’re at the gym, according to the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Athletes who had caffeine pre-exercise during the study continued to burn calories for three hours after their workout. People who add coffee to their routine may also benefit from improved circulation, muscle preservation when you’re older, and help fuel endurance. More doesn’t necessarily mean better, so avoid taking too much (limit 6g per kg of body weight) and don’t drink any six hours before bed.
Reward yourself: After you have your work out, have a treat planned afterward (maybe not Pinkberry or McDonald’s). Tell yourself you’ll get to watch the latest episode of your favorite TV show or surf the web. This method will create even better feelings around working out when you’re on your post-exercise high.
Make a commitment: Join a class or schedule a hike, run, or racquetball game with a friend will hold you accountable to someone other than yourself. What’s more, it helps you associate the time your spending at the gym as a fun time, hanging out with people you like.
Have the music set the mood: Use a playlist as a trigger. Play the same set of songs during your workout, so when you hear Taylor Swift’s tune “Shake it off” (for example) your mind will be in workout mode. Even turning on some upbeat music and dancing around the room may help warm you up to the idea to go outside to brave the gym.
Also, studies have shown that having music on during your workout reduces your perceived effort and boosts your output (aka it acts as a good distraction).
Invest in your workout: Buy clothes for the season. If you like to run, purchase the right gear to keep you warm while the temperature drops. McGee also notes that there’s a certain enthusiasm that comes with getting new outfits for an event, which may help get you pumped for working out in the winter.
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