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Mindful Living

Winter Workout Motivation

Here’s how to find your fitness mojo in the snowy season.

It’s easy to fall into a fitness slump when the temperatures plummet—the days get darker and the couch time increases. But with a few creative tweaks, you can keep your body in summer-worthy shape all winter long.

Set mini goals. Big aspirations (like wanting to lose a significant amount of weight) have a role in your personal wellness plan. But now’s the time to zoom in on smaller benchmarks to help you stay on track.

Embrace the cold. Instead of giving up on outdoor workouts, embrace the season. Make plans with friends to hit the ice rink or go cross-country skiing. If you live near a ski area, see if your gym will let you pause your membership for a few weeks and put that money toward a package of ski or snowboard lessons.

 Buddy up. Need a little extra motivation to do cardio in the cold? Pound the pavement with other winter runners or walkers. Joining up with like-minded pals gives you an incentive to break a sweat and can help you stick to a routine—even when a crackling fire is calling.

Go for a climb. Explore new indoor workout options. One idea: Find your nearest climbing gym and take a beginner’s class in rock climbing—a fun and challenging workout that engages several muscle groups and crushes tons of calories in the process. The energy you expend during an indoor climb is similar to running an 8- to 11-minute mile. Plus, research shows adrenaline-pumping sports like rock climbing can help your body deal better with stress.

Gift yourself some fitness fun. You know how important it is to enjoy your workouts, but even a favorite routine can stand a shake-up. Use the cold as an excuse to treat yourself to a few sessions with a certified personal trainer or to a block of classes at the trendy hot yoga or barre studio in your neighborhood. Feeling indulgent? Book a wellness retreat. There’s nothing like different surroundings and a complete menu of fitness adventures and spa goodies to flip your exercise attitude to full-on enthusiasm.

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The Happiness Challenge

Two men on a morning jog looking happy

Challenge yourself each week to try one of these mood-boosting strategies and then build on them throughout the month.

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