Q: Finding the energy to exercise is getting more difficult as the days get darker and colder. Do you have any suggestions on how to jump-start my workouts despite the dreary weather?
A: You’re definitely not alone. The attraction to the couch just seems to increase as the temperature drops. Not to mention all the yummy holiday treats. But you don’t have to give in to temptation. Here are some suggestions to keep you on track during the winter:
- Gear up. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, the right clothes can make a world of difference. Start with a base layer that wicks away moisture. The drier you are, the warmer you’ll be. Look for fabrics such as Coolmax, Duofold, or Capilene, to name a few. Then add a fleece middle layer-or two if it’s really cold–for warmth. And top it off with a wind and waterproof top layer such as Gore-Tex to protect you from the elements. And don’t forget about your head, hands, and toes.
- Soak up some rays. Whenever it’s sunny, get outside. The sunlight can beat the blues that might be sabotaging your exercise routine. In addition, it may also help to calm cravings.
- Try something new. Join a boxercise or yoga class. The excitement of a new activity may be just what you need. If you have to pay for the class, it can be additional motivation to make sure you don’t miss it.
- Get into training. Sign up to walk a 10K, run a half marathon, or do a mini triathlon this spring. Choose an event that is a bit beyond your current ability. That way you have to commit to training if you hope to do well. Better yet, get a buddy to join you.