It’s cold. The mornings are dark. Exercise? Quite frankly, it’s the last thing you fancy doing at this time of year. So how to motivate yourself to get down the gym/book into a yoga class/go for that swim you promised yourself you would?

yoga-winter

Add Excitement

 
Rather than plugging away with the same old running route or dull exercise class you do week in, week out – now’s the time to try something new. Exercise doesn’t have to mean the gym or classes or jogging either; how about going for a long hike at the weekend, for example? Or trying out trampolining? Popping to a beginners’ session at your local climbing wall? Hitting up a boxing class and learning some new skills? Doing the seasonal thing and booking an afternoon of ice-skating? New and exciting activities will add some fun and boost your motivation.

winter-hiking-fitness

Stay Home

 
Who hasn’t got ten minutes to do some yoga first thing in the morning? Or 20 minutes to watch a HIIT video on YouTube? Even five minutes of stretching is better than nothing at all – and it’s guaranteed wake your body (and your muscles) up. There are so many free fitness videos you can watch online these days – a quick search and you’re bound to find something to suit your goals and fit in with how much time you’ve got. Most online fitness videos don’t require equipment, and even better – no brand new workout kit is needed either. Oh hello, scruffy t-shirts!

yoga-at-home

Plan, Plan, Plan

 
Make exercise part of your week – and make it easy to fit in, so you won’t find excuses not to go. A spin session in your lunchbreak means you get time away from the desk, and you’ll actually take time off at lunch – which most of us forget about fairly regularly. Perhaps there’s a Pilates studio on the way home from work. Or maybe you can combine a weekend shopping trip with trying out a new dance class? The key here is making exercise convenient and practical, and putting it in the diary. Done.

winter-fitness

Bring Friends

 
Instant motivation = making things more fun and doing them with friends. Doing things together adds extra fun – or, if you’re a cynic: what kind of a person lets her friends down? Yep, you’re much less likely to cancel the bike ride or press snooze and skip your Pilates class if you’ve planned to do it with a pal. And you can always go for coffee or brunch and a catch-up afterwards – multitasking!

fitness-with-friends

Be Nice To Your Body

 
So you’ve been good and been for a run as you promised yourself you would, now take time to be nice to your body. That might mean booking a lovely relaxing massage, buying some luxurious body oil or treating yourself to some indulgent, scented bubble bath for a long soak in the tub. It could be spending a little more than you usually might on a delicious post-workout snack or buying ingredients and trying out a few new healthy recipes. And then there’s the obvious one – splashing out on some new workout gear or some shiny new trainers.