It is early winter, and most gyms are closed because of the pandemic. The weather is colder, and it is harder to go outside for exercise. It would seem natural to throttle back on the workouts for a few months. You do not have to. Your workouts can produce great results this winter. You must plan for it.

There is no substitute for regular workouts. Your body thrives on consistent movement and activity. You always feel better after a workout. Your mood and your attitude improve when you know you are working on your fitness goals. Not working out just should not be an option.

Winter is a daunting time. The holidays put a lot of challenges in front of us for our time, energy and focus. The colder weather becomes a factor every day. It is darker out and our moods are affected. We naturally want to hibernate and conserve our energy. We are impacted by several winter changes and it can be hard to stay motivated.

As harsh as the winters can be, your attitude can be your best weapon. Decide you are going to face the winter and its obstacles and overcome it. Where there is a challenge you have a solution.  Here are a few suggestions to help you beat Old Man Winter:

Winterproof your workout area
Home workouts in the winter require a warm workout space. In the warmer summer months, you can exercise just about anywhere. In the winter not so much. Select your workout space and make sure it is warm. No one wants to go out to a cold garage for an early morning winter workout. You spend most of your time dealing with the cold temperature. Plan and solve your warmth issues. Fix any cold drafts. Find a solution to the cold floor. Turn the heater on 15 minutes before you workout so when you get started your workout area is warm and inviting.

Dress for winter workouts
If it is colder, change what you wear for working out. If you wear tank tops in the summer, put on a long sleeve t-shirt. Wear full length sweatpants instead of shorts. Start with a warmup jacket until you start to sweat and take it off when you are ready.  It is about the layers. Be prepared to wear more clothes and know you can take them off as you get warm.  After a few workouts you will find the right combination of clothing to work for you.

Modify your activities
If you are used to exercising and being active outdoors, you may need to modify your activities. Long jogs on slippery surfaces can be a challenge and lead to possible injuries. Stay indoors for your workouts and change your activities. Run on the treadmill in your house instead of running outside. Take an indoor fitness class on Zoom instead of riding your bike outdoors.

Nutrition is just as important
Stay focused on your nutrition through the winter months. You may not be able to exercise as much but you can still monitor and control your diet. Set goals to help motivate you to continue to eat well. Make your nutrition a focus of your winter fitness. Plan to excel during the holidays and stay focused on your fitness goals. Whether its weight loss, muscle gain or just staying fit, calibrate your goals for your nutrition and make significant strides you will see next summer.