Winter Exercise: How to Stay Motivated

Although gyms see a peak in membership in January, we don’t have to wait until the full guilt of Christmas excess is upon us to get motivated. Prevention is better than cure as they say, so keeping up with an exercise regime over winter is going to boost your energy levels and immune system, keep you fit, and aid body confidence over the festive party season. In many ways, it’s easier to fit in exercise over winter because there are fewer social events filling our time (apart from Christmas perhaps) and the weather is much cooler.

So how do your keep your motivation up, even on those cold, dark days?

Try something new

If you normally go to the gym, try taking up squash. Or if you’re normally a runner, try swimming. Mixing up your routine will stop you getting bored and give yourself new challenges and goals. Break out of your comfort zone and you might just find your Olympic sport.

weight lifting woman

Get a fitness buddy

A good fitness buddy will motivate and support you, and most importantly, they’ll give you a reason to get off the sofa! None of us like letting others down so committing to work out with another person makes you far more likely to go ahead with it. An element of competition is always helpful, and a buddy can check your form and technique to help you perform at your best. If you want to try something new, taking a friend along can make the whole thing less nerve wracking too! Finally, it’s safer to exercise outside in pairs or as a group after dark, so get that running club going.

Get the right kit

Looking good does make you feel good, right? The most important thing though is having the right kit for the conditions. If you’re running outside you might want gloves and a long-sleeved top, and certainly high-vis for dull days. For yoga and sportswear with ethical credentials try Patagonia, Braintree Clothing and Asquith London.

Exercise outside

Outside?! Yes, because gyms will be busy and exercising outside is a chance to get some fresh air if you’re normally cooped up indoors all days. I’d fully recommend the outdoor fitness classes from British Military Fitness although you’ll find similar alternatives across the country. There’s something wonderfully freeing about getting fit and muddy!


Try a Personal Trainer

You don’t need to see a personal trainer every week to see results. If you’re stuck in a rut, let a PT create a new routine for you and set new goals. Gyms will often offer PT sessions with a new membership and independent PTs will allow you to book them as a group so you can split the cost between friends.

The best route is to push yourself but stick to achievable goals. You are more likely to stick to a realistic program than if you sign yourself up to five sessions a week. That Christmas cake will be waiting for you at the end.

Emma Waight