I’m training for the Asics LA Marathon, so this past Sunday, like every other Sunday, I tied on my sneaks and took off on my long run of the week. It was a bitter day in New York City: all of 18 degrees with a wind chill of “feels like 5.” I am not exaggerating. “Why am I doing this?” I asked myself more than once that morning. “Because if you don’t, you won’t make it to the finish line” was always the answer. And so, I kept putting one foot in front of the other.
Signing up for a race is a great way to stay motivated to exercise when the weather outside is frightful. (It’s often my motivation to exercise even when the whether is nice: I pay the registration fee, tell all my friends I’m doing it, and then feel accountable to either my wallet or my pride for the next few months.) But maybe endurance sports aren’t your thing. Or you don’t feel fit enough—yet—for a competition. Here are a few ways I convince myself to work out when winter winds blow:
Hit The Slopes Working out in the snow is a lot more fun when snow is part of the workout! Sports like skiing (downhill and cross-country), snowboarding, and snowshoeing are all great fat-frying, cardio workouts. (Check out how many calories these and other popular winter activities burn here.) Not only that but snow provides instability in some cases—challenging your balance and coordination—and added resistance in others, which causes more muscle fibers to fire. So grab some friends, schuss your way to the lodge, then compare notes on the last run over a hot tea.
Suit Up When I buy a new dress, I can’t wait to wear it—sometimes even inventing excuses to do so. And new exercise apparel makes me feel the same way! I guarantee if you treat yourself to some adorable cold-weather workout clothing, you’ll not only feel excited about your next sweat session, but (because you’ll be comfortable) enjoy it more and maybe even perform better too. Some of my favorite pieces to wear during a training run: Lolë’s super cozy Energy Pant, Liven Top, and Love Beanie. Just be sure to layer up so that you can remove excess clothing as your body temperature rises.
Catch a Flick Can’t bear to even leave the house? I understand. Sometimes just traveling to and from your workout can be unbearable. But you can get fit in your living room just as easily as you can at the gym. Thankfully some of my favorite classes are now on DVD, which means even if it’s blizzarding outside, I have no excuse.
What have you been doing to stay in shape this winter? Any great tips I missed out on? Let me know in the comments.