Winter generally sucks. I say that because I live in Chicagoland where it’s really cold and windy and it snows a lot. In most of the places I’ve lived (disregarding California where it doesn’t suck because there is no winter) winter is dark and dreary and just so…wintery. At some point, the cold weather and all that comes with it starts to grind you into tiny, wretched pieces.
It happens. I can’t stop it, but I can help.
Winter vs. Exercise – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
It’s like this: Short days, darkness, frigid mornings vs. a warm, soft bed, maybe a purring cat snuggled up against you. Which do you choose? If you’re very disciplined, you choose to get up and exercise. If you’re trying to be disciplined you probably argue with yourself and whether the exercisey you or the screw-that you wins is up for debate.
Exercisey You: “You should get up and workout.”
Screw-That You: (hitting snooze button) “Just 9 more minutes.”
Exercisey You: “You said that 9 minutes ago.”
Screw-That You: “Well, now I’m saying it again.”
Exercisey You: (in a snotty tone) “Remember how you said you wanted to lose weight before spring?”
Screw-That You: “Spring is eleventy billion years away.”
Exercisey You: “That’s an exaggeration.”
Screw-That You: “You’re annoying.”
Exercisey You: “GET UP!”
Screw-That You: “I hate you with the intensity of a thousand suns.”
Exercisey You: “Drama queen.”
Screw-That You: “Buzzkill.”
1. Just Get Up
The snooze button is not your friend, no matter what sweet nothings your alarm clock is whispering in your ear.
The snooze button is torture. In fact, that’s what they should do instead of waterboarding. Just wake somebody up every 9 minutes with a terrible noise and voila! The truth will come out.
The point is, get up before your mind can start telling you all the (really good) reasons you should stay in bed.
2. Sleep In Your Workout Clothes
This sounds stupid, I know, but if you workout at home you can pretty much wear whatever you want to exercise.
I’m not saying sleep in your sports bra if you’re a woman – That really is torture. But if you have some comfy workout shorts, wear them to bed. It’s one less thing you have to yank on when you get up.
3. Have a Reward Planned Ahead of Time
Like, if you get up and workout, you can do something frivolous that you never let yourself do during the day – Binge-watch Hoarders, take a nap, play Candy Crush, watch 400 cute cat videos in a row…like that. Or maybe something bigger like a spa treatment or 3 weeks in Hawaii. Whatever works.
4. Put Your Clothes in the Dryer
If it’s really cold, getting out of bed blows. One thing I’ve done is put my workout clothes in the dryer the night before. When I get up, I turn it on for 10 or so minutes while I have my coffee.
Putting on warm clothes is divine and starting your workout already warm makes it suck less.
5. Get a Dog
A dog does not make exercise suck less, but it does make exercise necessary. No matter how cold, wet, snowy or windy it is, the dog must be walked. The dog cannot walk himself.
Believe me, I have tried to get away with it and the neighbors don’t like when a dog is just wandering around sans owner (unless you live in some places in the south where it’s expected – I know. I lived there).
These are small things and they don’t necessarily cancel out the suckiness of winter exercise. But they help. Any little boost you can give yourself is worth doing.