Staying motivated in the winter

by Kim on January 27, 2014

The winner of the Smart Balance Peanut Butter Popcorn Nuggets giveaway is…Paige! Check your email, girl. :)

Hey guys! Well, I don’t have a ton to report from the weekend. The hubby was out of town, so Mason and I enjoyed some mom/son time.

I knew how much he would enjoy a purse-hunting trip to TJ Maxx, so we did that first. Success!

In all fairness, we also took a very, very leisurely stroll down the toy aisle, which bought me about 10 extra minutes of semi-tolerant, pre-meltdown behavior.

Later, we took a trip out to Barnes & Noble, which has 3 of Mason’s favorite things: 1) A large train set. 2) Lots and lots of books, particularly of the car/truck variety, with little flaps you can open and close. 3) A looong wheelchair accessible ramp to the second floor.

Back at home, well…while the husband’s away, the wife will watch HGTV all day. (I discovered the Beachfront Bargain Hunt show, and couldn’t BELIEVE some of the prices people were getting…the wheels in my brain are turning…)

The wife will also jack up the temperature in the house:



…and watch chick flicks:

spectacular now
This one could actually be pretty entertaining for a guy, too–I think. It was a little darker and more maturely themed than your typical teen romance movie, which made for some interesting twists.

Yesterday, two things happened:

1) It snowed.

2) Our snowblower died.

I decided I could use the fresh air (since I basically haven’t been exposed to it for more than 10 seconds at a time since, say, November), so I grabbed a shovel and went to work on the driveway. It ended up being such hard labor that I decided to call it my workout for the day–is that legit??

Surprise, surprise: when I got back in, I felt like a million bucks and had decided that the cold “wasn’t that bad.” (Don’t worry–that won’t last.)

The general sentiment where I live–and maybe where you live–is that winter sucks and we’ve had enough. This Polar Vortex business (which we’re experiencing again this week–schools closed today and tomorrow) is separating the men from the boys, and I’m the first to admit I’m a boy. (Wait, what?)

Only a few more months until I can stop researching tropical vacations we won’t take and scoping out houses in San Diego that we won’t buy.

In the meantime, is anyone else feeling the winter workout slump? Like, we’re just hiding out in these baggy sweatshirts and giant coats anyway, so what’s the point?

Well, obviously the point is not entirely related to how we look or who’s going to see how we look…it’s also how we feel. Winter and not exercising can both give us the blahs, so why pit yourself against the double-blahs when one is reversible? Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about lately as ideas for staying on track…


Start tracking your workouts and competing with yourself/others via an app like Runtastic or Fitocracy.

Try a new online workout resource like Barre 3 or Blogilates.

Buy a new workout outfit. (Hopefully I’m not the only one who gets inspired by new clothes…)

Refresh your playlist.

Treat yourself to a few classes at a yoga studio or similar. (Better yet: get a free trial.)

Buy a new fitness DVD. (I’ve been wanting to try Jillian’s Ripped in 30.)

Get into a winter sport. (Skiing/snowboarding anyone?)

Acknowledge your accomplishments and reward yourself. You know the drill!

Buy a Fitbit (or similar) to track daily calorie expenditure. Challenge yourself to hit a certain number every day.

Take the “just do something” approach. If intense, planned workouts seem too intimidating, encourage yourself to just move, in some way, every day.

Try active friend/spouse dates. I’ve been wanting to get into rock climbing (indoor, for now) for a long time, but I’m too much of a pansy to go it alone.

Sign up for a spring race. Once you start counting back the 12 weeks or whatever of training time, you might realize you need to start, like, tomorrow. Talk about a motivation jumpstart!

Make an inspiration board. I have one in front of my treadmill, full of magazine pics of strong, fit, confident (looking) women (in warm weather, unsurprisingly).

Count chores. That shoveling business is no joke!

Plan some non-workout workouts. Something people do “for fun” that’s actually pretty physically demanding. Cross country skiing or snowshoeing? Indoor tennis, basketball, volleyball?

Recognize and tackle your excuses. If it’s too cold to go to the gym, nothing’s holding you back from doing an at-home workout.

Keep a post-workout journal. Write down what you did and how you felt so you’ll remember later.

Invest in a new piece of home gym equipment. Stability ball? Weight set? Resistance bands?

If you do work out outside, make sure you’re actually warm enough. (I’m a classic under-dresser, so this is a reminder I actually need to hear regularly.)

Wear those skinny jeans. Or whatever else will give you a gentle (or not so gentle) heads up when it’s time to rein things in a little.

Post workouts on your Outlook calendar like real appointments.

Start a challenge. Here are a few timely ideas…

Fitnessisa’s Winter Shape Up

Blonde Ponytail’s February Reset Dietbet

30 Day Fitness Challenges

Or create your own! Why not??

What tricks do you use to keep yourself motivated in the winter?




{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

David Kovacs March 16, 2014 at 4:33 am

Hi Kim!
Great tips, thanks for sharing. I heard a lot of things about Runtastic app, now I will definitely give it a try. :)
David Kovacs recently posted…7 Great Quotes to Start the Day, and Other Tricks for Starting Your MorningMy Profile


Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness January 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I AM ABSOLUTELY MOTIVATED BY NEW CLOTHES!!!!!!!! Okay a little too excited there. BTW, I am very impressed that you can have a non-psychotic trip into Barnes and Noble. M.T. really loses his $h!t and we always have to leave immediately and stand outside for 20 minutes while he screams and hits me and Zac pays for whatever we went in for. I swear, I have more gray hairs every time I take him in there.
Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness recently posted…Tri Training: 2 Weeks InMy Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Oh man! Seriously?? Does your B&N have a sick train set? Mason gave me a few warnings when I tried to stop him from sprinting through the Nook sales floor, and definitely melted down when we had to leave, but other than that, he was in heaven.

Getting over-excited about clothes is totally legit. Whatever works right?


Kim January 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm

All great tips!!! I’ve been wearing a FitBit since the first of the year and it has shown me how inactive I tend to be during the day – I’ve been working on changing that!
Kim recently posted…The Law of Diminishing ReturnsMy Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Ugh, I’m not sure I’d want to know how few calories I burn sitting at a desk all day! :)


Karen January 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Good tips! I like to read training articles (Runners World and whatnot) and find new indoor workouts to get motivated
Karen recently posted…Puppet friends, enchiladas, and a surveyMy Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Awesome idea! I do the same thing with blogs–forgot to mention that. :)


Jess @ Blonde Ponytail January 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Thanks for sharing!!
Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted…Our Active RecoveryMy Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

You’re very welcome! :)


Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome January 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Great tips! Go you for getting out and shoveling the snow! I think I’d freeze! Not much of a cold weather girl over here ;-) Luckily we’ve been having lovely warm temperatures for January but its about to change. Rain and cooler temps coming this week! I’m sort of looking forward to the rain though. Not only do we desperately need it but we haven’t gotten to break in our rain boots yet!
Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…Sweet Potato Apple Chicken Hash and Grass-fed Beef Jerky!My Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I’d LOVE some rain right now! Winter here makes us forget what that’s even like. Definitely not a cold weather girl either–I was so surprised that I didn’t die during the shoveling thing. :) I guess it helps to keep moving if you have to be out in that!


Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate January 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I must have just missed you at TJMaxx– we went there so my sister could find a cute baby outfit for her friends shower and I had no intention of buying anything…I left with three new throw pillows, a new dog bed for Maddie, a workout shirt and a candle…yikes!
Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Puppies=HappinessMy Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Hahaha I hear that…I don’t even let myself go into the workout clothes section, unless I can think of something I need first. I mean of COURSE I’m going to FIND something I need once I’m in there…

I got a throw pillow too! Still haven’t taken the tags off though–having trouble completely committing to it for some reason. :)


Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries January 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Love your new purse!

Great tips! I signed up for a spring race, and it’s been the best thing to help me get excited and stay on top of my workouts.
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…Food Never Tasted So GoodMy Profile


Kim January 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I love it too! It’s funny because I was so-so about it in the store, but I’ve been needing a new purse for sooo long and have been sooo picky about it that I finally just decided to suck it up and go for it. And now I absolutely love it. :)

Can’t wait to hear how your race goes!!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: