This time of year, motivating yourself to exercise can be tougher than ever. From dropping temperatures and minimal daylight hours to sluggishness caused from overindulgence, holiday weight gain seems almost inevitable.
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital to not only looking and feeling your best, but for your overall health as well (it’s called a healthy weight for a reason!). Regular exercise can also help with symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and allow you to enjoy your favorite holidays treats guilt-free. That’s why in the colder seasons, getting in physical activity is extremely important. The next time you plan to workout, but are lacking motivation, remember these tips for overcoming common excuses.
It’s too cold: Dress warmly. I once believed that I hated winter. What I didn’t know at the time was, going out in 30 degree weather in a dress and heels is, obviously, not the best outfit choice. It wasn’t until last January when I visited Montreal (and temperatures were around -11 degrees) that I finally dressed in waterproof gloves, boots and snowpants (thanks Mom), and even felt too warm at times, that I realized, if you dress appropriately, warmth is not an impossible goal. If you love running or hiking, make sure to layer and stick to moisture wicking materials (no cotton), or if it’s just too cold, try a group fitness class, like spinning.
I’m tired: Have you ever felt worse after a workout? Unless you were gravely ill, or overdid it and felt extremely sore, most of the time, after a good workout, no matter how tired you may be, you feel better and re-energized. If you’re too sleepy in the morning, try fitting it in right after work, before hunger strikes.
I’m “too fat” for the gym: This excuse is ridiculous, and yet, I’ve heard it before. I don’t think that there’s a single person who would look at another gym-goer and judge them for working out, no matter their size (and if that’s happened to you, it’s time to switch gyms). If you’re really that self-conscious about exercising in public, pick up a workout DVD or try an active video game like Just Dance (see my review on it here) or Wii Sports.
I don’t have time: I understand, we all have busy lives. Working, socializing, and taking care of everyday responsibilities can seem overwhelming. The truth is, that as we age, our responsibilities (for the most part) only increase, so there is no better time to create healthy living habits than now. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly make it a habit, and are more likely to commit to a lifetime of physical activity.
It’s too expensive: Some sports, be it skiing, golfing or horseback riding, require expensive instruction, clothing, and gear, however, renting equipment and signing up for group lessons can make these costly sports more affordable. Another (cheaper) option, is to choose activities that require minimal accessories and lessons.
Running, yoga and pilates can be very cost-effective with some calculated choices. Studio fees can run high for yoga or pilates, but consider getting an online subscription to streaming classes or as mentioned above, order a DVD. Big box stores carry yoga items for great prices, and a basic mat can cost as little as $15.
Beyond the accessories, for any sport that you choose, you need proper attire. Sportswear brands can be really pricey, so, I was super excited to discover Ellie, a low-cost fitness subscription service. For $49.95 a month (and free shipping!), you’re sent a complete outfit (top and bottom) for your specific fitness needs.
Each outfit is worth over $100 (from brands like Nike, Lululemon and Zella!) and they tailor each box to you from the results of your style quiz. Based on your answers, you could receive items for running (Epic Athlete), yoga (Wellness Warrior), gym workouts (Cardio Queen), or, if you’re really into fashion, and just want comfy clothes, you could be categorized as a Fit Fashionista.
I just signed up for my first box (Wellness Warrior!) and can’t wait to see what cute items I receive. If you’d like to learn more about Ellie and get 20% off your first order, click here. Also, if you sign up with Facebook, they’ll send you a free t-shirt! I hope these tips help you to be more active this winter, and remember, any exercise is better than none!