How to Stay Motivated to Exercise in Winter

We’re getting to that time of the year when everything seems much more of a slog. The nights are getting longer, the days shorter and we don’t even want to think about how cold it’s going to get.

Motivation, in general, tends to slip during winter, and for many people, S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) normally sets in. S.A.D, also known as “winter depression”, is often linked to the lack of exposure to sunlight. This lack of exposure affects the production of melatonin, serotonin, and your internal body clock. With S.A.D you’re more likely to feel tired, your mood lowers, and you can expect changes to your appetite, alongside finding it harder to get out of bed in the morning with no natural sunlight. With all this in mind, it comes as no surprise that many find it more difficult to find the motivation to exercise during these months.

So how can we tackle this to make sure we’re staying motivated and keeping fit during the winter? Unfortunately, one of the ways to combat S.A.D is to exercise regularly – we know, it’s a catch 22. But here are our tips to stay motivated:

Set Yourself Small Goals

Small achievable goals. It doesn’t have to be a big goal, just something that you know that you can stick to and achieve.

One thing I tried early this year was to run a mile every day in January – it’s one mile, it wasn’t far and if I didn’t achieve it a forfeit was decided by family and friends. I can tell you now, I never missed one day, and some days I even ran 5-6 miles. Come rain or snow (quite literally) I was out running every day. By the end of January not only did I feel fitter, but I also felt fantastic mentally and like I achieved something.

Set yourself little goals like these. To get you started why not download the We Train Limitless app where there are over 100 exercises you can do either individually for a short effective workout or combine for a longer session if you’re in the mood. You’ll be surprised by the amount of motivation that you get just from moving a little.

Light up

If you prefer working out in the morning but find waking up more difficult, we recommend investing in a sunlight lamp or “lightbox”. This innovative lamp simulates sunlight and according to NHS.com is said to have helped people improve their mood considerably by reducing the production of melatonin and increasing serotonin. You can also buy these as an alarm clock to simulate sunrise, making getting up easier in winter.

Adjust When You Workout

Find a time of day that works for you. If you’re used to working out in the morning and now find yourself struggling to get out of bed, move your workout to a time when you feel more energised. Perhaps try a lunchtime workout or one after work. Don’t put pressure on yourself to stick to the same routine that worked for you in the summer but is no longer serving you.

Get Outside

When asking around the office how people stay motivated, one of the most surprising answers was to “get outside”. You would have thought this is the last place you’d want to be in winter but getting out in the fresh air, connecting with nature, and absorbing the very little sunlight there are works wonders. One of the great things we hear about the Free Trainer is how people are using it in their gardens, garages and even under their gazebos!

It doesn’t need to be a marathon, but a short brisk walk or quick workout can really help with energy. Pop a podcast on, grab a warm drink and get moving!

Dress Appropriately.

The vest tops and shorts that you work out in during summer, are probably not the best options in winter. Nothing is more dread-inducing than getting into gym wear when it’s cold. Layers are your friend, light breathable and buildable layers.

If you’re outside, think thermals. Hats, gloves, underlayers, snoods, those kinds of things. Not forgetting a waterproof jacket. What’s winter in the UK without a little rain?

By ensuring you have the appropriate gear, the thought of being cold in gym wear becomes just a fleeting thought and feels like less of a task.

Rewards, Reward, Reward

As humans, we respond well to rewards, something to incentivise us to do something that requires effort. So why not apply this to exercise, if you achieve your goals, at the end of the week reward yourself with a treat. This can be anything you like, a glass of wine or a new item of clothing, whatever it is make sure it’s something you’re looking forward to earning!

Adjust where and how you’re working out

If you’re used to going to the gym but the thought of the journey there in the cold and dark is what’s putting you off, then try working out from home. It takes less effort to get ready and you can workout from your home, any way that you please. There are so many home workouts available online and home gym equipment is advancing rapidly.

Our Limitless Free Trainer has been specifically designed for the home. Taking up 55% less space than a Peloton bike, this innovative home gym equipment enables you to do HIIT, Strength, Cardio and Conditioning workouts all from the comfort of your own home. Not only does the limitless Free Trainer come with a Free App featuring over 100 different exercises, but it gives you the ability to completely tailor your workouts to suit you, your body, and your ability with the potential of burning up to 300 calories in just 10 minutes. Proof that home workouts can be just as effective as gym workouts.

Get Motivated, Get Moving

So those are our best tips on how to stay motivated during winter. Whichever way you choose to stay motivated, just remember that exercise is well known to help improve mental health, that’s why at We train Limitless we believe that movement is the key to surviving winter and tackling S.A.D and I guess burning 300 calories in 10 minutes isn’t a bad pay off either! So get moving, get active and beat S.A.D with We Train Limitless.