11 December 2022

Top tips for staying motivated to exercise in the winter


Do you find it hard to stay motivated to go outdoors or go to the gym when it is cold?

I get it, you get in from work and the last thing you feel like doing is getting back outdoors to go for a run, a class or go to the gym.

Or its cold, wet or dark out and you just don’t feel like exercising (& haven’t all week!)   Obviously, for some, they love the cold and getting outside to exercise.   However, many people don’t – add in the dark too, it really is a no, no!!

I used to row and we were out on the water, in the dark 6.30am in the freezing cold.  Yep it was hard, but knowing you had to turn up, otherwise you would let the crew down, meant you had to go.  We felt amazing afterwards whilst warming up with a massive breakfast!!

They do also say – exercising outdoors is not about the weather, it is about the clothing you wear!!! Layer up and lets move on….

Exercising in winter
Morning HIIT

How to get motivated….

So, lets look at a few things that can get you motivated to keep moving in the winter!!

  • 1st – it may seem obvious – but get the right kit. I always advise layering up, always get a good base layer, glove, a hat (breathable), snood or whatever works for you. By layering up you can start warm and take them off once you feel you don’t need them.  You don’t need to spend a fortune, just a few lighter layers & maybe a windproof jacket (Aldi/Costco/Sports Direct often have very reasonable gear)
  • 2nd – see if you can get a running/walking/class partner. The aim is to encourage each other to meet up outside at a set place and time on set days. It can really help motivate you knowing you can’t let that person down.
  • 3rd – do exercise/movement that you ENJOY. Time and time again people feel the ‘have to’ exercise. This is why I suggest movement.  You can put some tunes on and dance for 10  /15 minutes every Friday!  Exercise is about moving, that is what the body needs. You want to laugh or smile so you get the ‘feel good’ endorphins.
  • 4th – Put it in the diary – make it an official appointment.  By planning ahead you can see when you have time to exercise.
  • 5th – Agree to meet a friend for coffee somewhere you can do your exercise (just make sure you have warm layers to put on after).  You can exercise there and have a coffee with them afterwards – if they aren’t joining you!
  • 6th – put your gym kit on in the morning.  We can make any excuse not to exercise because of the effort to change.
  • 7th – Do the family walk or shop, in your kit. Then ask them to drop you off on the way home and you run/walk home.
  • 8th – remember you can find a space in your home, put some funky music on and just DANCE for 5 – 10 minutes.  It will make you feel great, get your heart rate up & you will move your body in so many different ways, much more beneficial than you realise.  You can get the kids to join in and all move & laugh.
  • 9th – If you are just feeling really tired and achy – you can still move by doing some gentle releases/mobilisers or yoga.  It will help relax your body and mind and you will still be moving and doing something beneficial for your body.  Sitting for too long can actually make you more lethargic, tight and sore.
  • 10th – Finally – if you regularly attend a class but partner has suddenly said they are out that night – when its class time – use that time still as a movement time. Exercise at home.  Either ask your trainer for a quick home workout OR look on You Tube – there are hundreds of quick workouts on there.  Or better still – if my online membership is up and running – log in and do one of my quick workouts at home!!  Otherwise put a few great tunes on and dance around the kitchen for 10 minutes – you will get sweaty and you will laugh!!

Here I have done a quick synopsis of my run today – I wanted to get out and move and the outdoors was calling me.  So I practised what I preach here. I put lots of layers on & went out for a run.  It wasn’t long but it felt good being out:


Recovery time is still essential

Obviously, these all apply if you  just need a bit of motivation to do the exercise. IF you are totally run down, getting every cold going or just feeling exhausted – you DO have to listen to your body.

The best thing you can do then is actually go to bed as early as you can.  Get a good night’s sleep so your body can get to work on mending itself and building your energy back!

If your body is already run down and you make yourself go out and put even more stress on it, you will get total burnout.  So please, always do what is right for your body.  Sometimes just some mobilisers is just what it needs, not a high cortisol run!!!

Try some of these tips – let me know if any of them work for YOU!!

You may like this article in Women & Home magazine:

Still not sure which fitness class is for you?

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