Getting healthy and staying fit in 2018 may not be as hard as you think. Consider adopting these tried-and-true solutions. Doing so may give you a boost of inspiration when the winter cold lures you toward the couch.
1) Find a buddy
Make a commitment to exercise with a friend or coworker once or twice per week. It helps to choose someone you wouldn’t want to disappoint. This will hold you accountable and improve the likelihood of staying consistent. Besides, working out with a friend makes sweating more fun.
2) Turn on the tunes
In a 2013 study, researchers showed that pumping up the music while we exercise significantly improves our mood. Listening to inspiring tunes while exercising also distracts you from fatigue and motivates you to work out longer and harder. Plug in, tune in, and turn it up.
To maintain your routine, plan ahead. On Sunday evening, grab your calendar and schedule your daily workouts for the week. Add all possible types of exercise, including walking the dog, trips to the gym, and dancing with friends. Plan your ideal schedule in detail, then hold that schedule lightly. As we know, sick kids and jammed traffic easily get in the way of our best-laid plans.
4) Get outside
It’s often said that if you need to solve a problem, go out for a walk. Get some fresh air, clear your mind, and you’re likely to return home with your answer. Especially during the shorter days of winter, spending time outside can improve focus, reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and lower stress levels. Bundle up!
5) Sign up for a class
Facing a work-out during the cold, dark winter months can be disheartening. Doing it on your own makes exercising even more daunting. The antidote to lonely miles on the treadmill is to register for a series of classes. Find a yoga or rock-climbing class—or hit the dance floor. Make your work-out social, and you’re more likely to have fun and stay motivated.
Make your work-out social, and you’re more likely to have fun and stay motivated.
6) If you can’t get outside, then turn up the lights.
Research shows exercising under bright lights lifts our moods, especially in the winter months when daylight hours are limited. Gyms are great for keeping the floods on. If you exercise at home, be sure to head for the brightest room in the house.
This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of Mindful magazine in a featured article titled, “Winter Got You Down? Move Around!“