Skip to main content

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise During the Drab Winter Months

You're not alone.
How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise During the Drab Winter Months

Finding it difficult to get out of bed to hit the gym or for your morning run now that the days are colder and darker? You're not alone. 

"We all want to stay under the covers and cozy when it is cold and dark outside. We simply have a clock that tells us it is sleepy time when the sun is not out," celeb trainer and creator of Boxing & BarbellsCary Williams, tells Organic Authority.

Chalk it up to the lack of Vitamin D or chilly temperatures, but exercising during the winter months just isn't the same as the sunny and warm summer, which can feel defeating. So how do you turn your February workout into something that resembles your July one?

Williams offers some of her go-to tips below to help you get back to your fighting shape. 

Find Your Why

First, Williams says, it's essential to figure out what is your motivation to work out? Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle or just get healthier? 

"Once you know exactly why you are working out you will be motivated," says William. "Remind yourself of your why every day." 

Also, if you discover your why changes, don't fret. That's totally normal. "Training thousands of women in boxing has made me realize that someone’s why may change as they progress with the sport," says Williams. "Initially, they may start because they want to lose weight, but they will stick with it because of the way it makes them feel."

Which is why you might want to stick with a feeling of empowerment rather than a result when figuring out your why. "With the Boxing & Barbells workout I notice that women feel more motivated to perfect the boxing combo (combo of the day) or to master their form on the weight training. They want to do better, get better. It is no longer only about losing weight, but about what they can make their bodies do. That is empowering."

So when the alarm goes off and a dark sky greets you, your why will help you to enthusiastically kick off those covers because you know how amazing it feels. 

Remember How Working Out Makes You Feel

This leads to Williams' next point. "You also have to remind yourself how great it feels when you are done working out," she says. 

For Williams, it's hitting the bag and lifting weights that help her feel her best.  After I hit the bag, lift weights or shadow box I feel strong mentally and physically! This transcends into my mind and helps me stay focused on everything I do in life. It gives me clarity, clears out the fog in my mind and allows me to be creative and yet organized."

Scroll to Continue

From the Organic Authority Files

For most of us, working out will make you feel energized and most of all, accomplished. "That feeling of accomplishment will make you have a great day every day. Just remember that feeling." Especially when you need that extra layer. 

Set a Workout Schedule

Consistency is key for exercise, and it's no different in the colder months than it is during the summer. 

"Set a workout schedule each week and pick workouts that fit your schedule," suggests Williams. "If you have more energy in the morning, then schedule your workouts in the morning." 

Williams says it's important to make sure your gym's class schedule fits yours. "If you are constantly having to work your schedule around your gym class schedule, you may end up going less due to inconvenience," she says. So you want to create a schedule that suits your needs and makes you excited to work out. 

"Set that schedule to hold yourself accountable and follow that plan. No plan, No success."

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Williams recommends going to bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally would in the summer. "In the winter months it is always harder to get up early, so you can reverse it and still get your sleep," she says. "Going to bed earlier will help you wake up feeling more refreshed and having the energy to workout. It is the perfect way to start your day!"

Don't Be Afraid to Work Out Outdoors

No gym? No problem. While the idea of getting bundled up might deter you from following your workout through, Williams suggests putting a positive spin onto it.

"If you don’t have a gym membership and need to do your workouts outdoors, think about how beautiful mother nature is and how little time we spend with her," she says. "This will help to get you outside moving and disregard how cold it may be."

Well, while you might still feel the cold, Williams makes a good point about appreciation and being present. Showing gratitude is known to improve someone's overall wellness, and can also increase metabolism and lessen stress.

So breathe in that fresh air, and know you made the right choice for your physical and mental health -- and then get running

Related on Organic Authority

5 Outdoor Winter Workouts You'll Actually Like
5 Chilly Health Benefits of a Cold Weather Workout
5 Indoor Workouts For When It's Just Too Cold Outside

Shop Editors' Picks

Related Stories