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Exercising through the Fall and Winter? How to Stay Motivated

Nov 7, 2010

Knowing how to stay motivated throughout the fall and winter seasons is more important than you might think if you're trying to live a healthy lifestyle. The fresh air, warm temperatures and longer hours of sunlight in spring and summer make playing sports, walking, biking, swimming, jogging and the like outdoors not only much easier, but also incredibly inviting. However, if drearier weather makes you lose motivation in fall and winter, you can derail months of healthy habits.

Invest in Thermal Layers

If you feel warmer when you're outdoors in colder temperatures, you'll stay motivated to keep up jogging, walking or biking routines throughout your neighborhood. However, simply throwing on multiple layers of clothing can compound the problem because the clothes will retain the moisture from your sweat, so you'll feel wet and overheated. Instead, invest in clothes specifically designed for exercise in cold temperatures. These should include breathable underwear, moisture-absorbent long underwear, and water- and windproof pants and jackets. Of course, cover your extremities with gloves, flexible boots and a headband as well.

Exercise Indoors at Home

If even wearing thermal layers isn't enough for you to stay motivated to work out in the fall and winter, concentrate on indoor activities that will help you achieve your fitness goals. Strength training is ideal indoors, but there are plenty of aerobic exercises that you can perform indoors as well with an instructional video. You can use additional equipment, such as an aerobic step or a yoga ball, to make the aerobic workout more dynamic. You can also try dance routines, interactive fitness video games and yoga.

Sign Up for a Gym

Your indoor home exercises will be limited due to the lack of space and equipment in your home or apartment. If you get tired of the same few indoor exercise activities, you can stay motivated by singing up for a gym. A gym can provide you with a plethora of equipment and supervision for strength training as well as the chance to sign up for classes that focus on aerobic activity. Since it's more fun to work out when you're not alone, you can benefit from these classes even if you can perform the same activities at home.

Head to the Community Sports Center

You'll be more motivated to work out if you know you can engage in a variety of activities despite the cold weather. At your community sports center, you may be able to swim and play sports such as basketball, volleyball and tennis. There's also usually a large track for walking and jogging.

It may take a little extra effort to stay motivated to exercise during the cold fall and winter months, but your health is worth spending the extra time and money. If you fail to work out for several months, you could put on more weight, lose strength and tone in your muscles and find yourself with less endurance for physical activity come spring.

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