Getting Fired Up for the Cold

As the winter drags on, it’s hard to stay motivated to exercise when your bed feels so warm and the minute your feet hit the floor it is cold. I did not always think mornings with temperatures in the low 50s were brutal. However, since transitioning from cheesehead (Wisconsin) to Floridian, you can find me starting these cooler runs in long sleeves, gloves, and something to keep the ears warm. Sure there is not snow shoveling here, but there have been times where temperatures have dropped low enough so that I felt like a human popsicle. I’m accustomed to the hot sunshine, after all, so I’ve had to learn how to adapt to the cooler weather to stay encouraged to run.


If you find yourself moping around making excuses to not get your exercise in, these tidbits may help you find your inner heat to get back out there.


  • Find a Friend A good fitness partner is someone that will really hold you to your goals. When training for a marathon, my husband has always been there to encourage me to stay on track with my training.
  • Sign up for that race! If you are thinking about signing up for a 5K or that fall marathon, go ahead and get registered. Setting a goal and having something to work toward is a powerful influence.
  • Shake it Indoors. Yes, I admit I’ve had those mornings where staying under the warm bed sheets is much more convincing that moving it outside. But instead of breaking my morning routine and ditching my workout, I workout at my house. Move it to a workout DVD. You can find great stuff for free on TV or on YouTube!
  • Give yourself the occasional off day. If you fall off track, don’t beat yourself up about it. I know from experience that making myself feel guilty about not working out can have a negative effect on my mood and long-term fitness success.
  • Get the Gear. I don’t know about you, but a new running outfit motivates me to get out there and run (is that just a woman thing?). There’s not a better way to beat the cold weather, than to stock up on the gear for winter. Check your wardrobe for good shoes, tees, pants, bras, hats, gloves, sunglasses, and a watch. The right gear is important to protect you from the elements, and it can be totally fun to get something new.


Do you have any words of wisdom for the change of seasons? What keeps you motivated as the weather cools off?


Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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