I wish I could say I have some genius words of wisdom about working out in the winter, but the truth is that I find it a struggle. Just as I’m sure many of you do. I like to workout but I don’t LOVE it like some people do. I like how it makes me feel and the results I get, but I don’t live for it the way Stan does. He is a gym fanatic and loves to workout. He will go in the worst weather, holidays, any time of the day – he will motivate himself to go. He even went on Thanksgiving morning before all the cooking began! WTH??? For me, finding a program or workout that I love has really helped me overcome the motivation hurdle. There are tons of popular workouts and classes now, but truth be told – I am not a fan of high impact activities. Cycling, Zumba, Crossfit, BBG, Orange Theory – most of those types of exercises are not enjoyable to me so I will find excuses not to go if those were my only options. I enjoy Pilates, Yoga and more low impact classes that have a calming atmosphere. Depending on the level of the class, I can still get an intense workout and build amazing strength.
In addition to doing the workouts that I like, I also go when I feel I can be the most successful. I am working on becoming a morning person, but am not there yet so scheduling a morning workout for myself will most definitely result in a cancellation. I know myself and what I will push myself to do, and early morning workouts are not one of them right now. I would rather GO to a class and get a workout at a time of the day that I won’t cancel, rather than create some narrative of what I hope to be someday (a morning person doing yoga as the sun rises – how amazing would that be?!).
I also made the decision to buy a package of monthly classes rather than pay for them individually which has made me go because I don’t want to lose money. Ha! I have skipped one or two from time to time, but I will push myself to go because it is already paid for. I hate to waste money and that is a big driver for me, so I tried to set up my workouts in a way that would hit me where it hurt, so to speak.
This last reason sounds so ridiculous and “salesy” but trust me it’s not – buying myself an actual workout wardrobe has helped push me to go when I don’t want to. Obviously cute leggings won’t pull me out of bed if I am really exhausted or not feeling well, but I used to wear ugly black leggings and a white Hanes tank top to all my yoga classes in NYC years ago. I loved the workout, but would often feel blah about what I was wearing which didn’t always excite me to go. Not everyone is like this, but I am at my best when I feel confident with what I have on and enjoy what I am wearing. When I began working out again regularly before I got pregnant, I made the decision to buy myself dedicated clothing to wear to these classes and it helped elevate my mood a lot. I would even lay my outfit out before class so I would be excited to get dressed when the time came.
There is a running theme in what motivates me to workout (or do anything frankly) – it’s that I do what I want to do. As I get older, I care more about making myself happy and setting myself up for success, rather than conforming to any type of narrative that I have created in my head or that has been created by anyone around me. Allowing myself the freedom and permission to do what I like and what works for me also frees up the space to try something new or make adjustments when needed.
What about you?! What motivates you to workout? Or what stops you from reaching your goals of being more active?