This time of year it can be hard to stay motivated and continue a fitness program. In many parts of the country it’s cold, the sun is still not up as much as it is in the summer, and the busy-ness of school and other commitments makes it challenging to squeeze a workout in. Here are my favorite ways to stay fit this time of year.
Include your kids. If you make it a family affair, you won’t have to sacrifice family time for fitness time. Plus, you’ll be setting a good example. A workout-based video game or kids’ fitness video, active games such as Twister or Sturdy Birdy (or even charades), or getting outside to shovel snow or build a snowman are all fun ways to include the whole family.
Set a reminder. There are apps for Windows, Mac, and phones that will help remind you to work out, or to stand up and walk around if you’re at your computer much of the day. Or schedule a workout, so when the phone buzzes, you are less tempted to blow it off.
Try mini-workouts. Take a break every hour for five minutes of medium- to high-intensity physical activity. Over the course of the day it will add up, and it may be more effective at preventing the effects of a sedentary lifestyle than sitting all day and working out for a half hour in the evening. Good mini-workouts include jumping jacks, marching in place, walking up and down stairs, pushups, burpees, squats, etc.
Make it fun. You’re more likely to continue if you have an incentive. If you find something you enjoy, such as Zumba, then stick with it by searching for workouts online to add interest. Or set up a challenge with a family member or friend to add an element of friendly competition.