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Five Tips to Stick with Your Exercise Plan in Winter

Whether life gets busy or the weather gets you down, don’t let excuses get in the way of your winter exercise plan. It’s exercise — you’ve got to work for it! And with winter come the holidays. Estimates of holiday weight gain are anywhere from 2 to 7 pounds, so this is not the time to reverse all the hard work you’ve put in throughout the warmer months.
  1. Gear Up
    If bad weather is going to be part of your morning run, you’re going to need to invest in the right clothing for outdoor athletics, as they will be made with fabrics that wick away and absorb sweat while insulating you. Protect your ears, head and hands from biting winds.
  2. Visualize Your Goal
    There really is something to the saying: get your head in the game! If you’re having trouble getting motivated, visualize yourself exercising and how good you’ll feel having accomplished your workout. According to research data using brain imagery, visualization works because neurons in our brains interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. Whether you actually believe this will work for you or not, it can’t hurt, right?
  3. Try Something New or Up Your Fitness Routine
    Rather than fear the temperatures, view them as an opportunity to up your fitness game. Summer temperatures can be limiting, but winter temperatures offer more ability to push a little further, maybe a little harder. If jogging three miles in 90-degree temperature nearly did you in, lower temperatures might mean you can go one more mile or faster.
  4. Holiday Cookies and Other Temptations
    You just can’t avoid it, there will be more sweets and party foods in December through February at the office, at parties, probably in your own home especially if you have kids. Paying attention to your diet and staying in your exercise routine is important to stave off holiday guilt.
  5. Enlist a Buddy!
    Working out is way more fun with a friend or co-worker, especially when you keep each other accountable. Studies confirm that weight-loss goals are more successful when you have a social support system, and fitness goals are more consistently met when you have accountability. A buddy gives you both.
No matter your goals, the most important thing is to start slow and give it your all.

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