It can be tough to stay motivated to leave the house and hit the gym once temperatures start to fall. There are plenty of ways to spice things up and stay motivated toward your health and fitness goals, so you can keep going no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. 

People are driven by different things to keep them moving, and making a change to your exercise routine for winter can come in many forms. Here are some examples. 

Switch up your workouts 

Periodization is an approach where you change up your workouts (ie. reps, sets, rest times) every 4-8 weeks to help prevent you from plateauing, becoming bored, overtraining or sustaining an injury. It also promotes increased strength and overall fitness. 

The changing seasons can be a great natural clock to help you stick to a periodized workout plan. 

The same way we use daylight savings as a reminder to check our home smoke alarms, we can review and reset our workout routine as the seasons change. 

Train for next season 

For athletes, sports always have an “off season.” You can take that time to improve your conditioning or build strength to advance your capabilities in time for next season. But if you’re spending time in the gym during the off season, be sure to work on overall conditioning and stretching. Try not to focus only on the muscle groups that you use while playing. 

Keeping up with your fitness during the off season will make it easier to get back into action when the season starts up again. 

Supplement your regular workouts 

With winter comes a different set of challenges and responsibilities. December tends to be hectic with festive activities, which could make it harder to hit the gym regularly.  You may have to shovel the driveway before leaving home, or trudge through snow to get to the office. Try to embrace these winter weather challenges to supplement your workouts. 

Revisit your favourite summertime activities to vent stress 

The gym can provide opportunities to mimic warm weather activities that you may be missing, or serve as an outlet for holiday stressors. If you enjoy bike riding but your bike is in storage for the winter, give RPM a try. Maybe you’re gearing up for a holiday work party - dust off those dance moves with some Zumba, SH’BAM or any of the other GoodLife dance classes. Dancing releases endorphins in the body, which can reduce stress. 

If you’re feeling particularly stressed, decompress with a Mind & Body class 

Get some frosty fulfillment 

Many of us tend to spend more time indoors during colder months, but you may want to occasionally forego the gym for an outdoor winter workout. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature, just be sure to approach the chillier temperatures safely. 

Dress to stay warm and dry! Layer up, particularly on the fingers, ears, nose and toes, because they are most affected by ultra-low temperatures. Keep your skin moisturized to combat the dry winter air, and don’t forget your sunscreen! Be aware of slippery conditions, make sure footwear is weather appropriate, and stick to plowed and salted surfaces. Wrapping a scarf around your mouth can hold water vapor and avoid painful heavy breathing when your airway is narrowed by the cold. And even though you may feel less thirsty when cold, your body still needs that water, so drink up! 

Wintertime can be a great opportunity to try new and different things when it comes to your health and fitness goals.