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Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out During the Winter

8 Ways to Motivate and Get Off Your Cold Weather Butt

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

I got chills. They're multiplying. But they're not of the Grease Lightening variety. It's getting cold (nearly 75 degrees in LA) and I'm starting to see visions of couches, heavy meals, hot chocolate and layered clothing (to hide the blubber!).

What? You need fat for warmth . . . supposedly.

Okay, fine. Better nip this cold weather slump in the bud before I settle down for a five-month Snuggie hibernation. Luckily, I have certified trainer and owner of new BIA Strong Body Studio Rebecca Black (not that Rebecca Black) to motivate me. And now so do you.

And Black knows a thing or two about weight loss. Not only does the Columbus, Ohio-based trainer help other people get in shape (while participating in bikini fitness competitions), but she also experienced her own weight loss transformation. "I lost about 40lbs," she explains. "But it took longer than it should have because I didn't know what I was doing and neither did my trainer."


As we all know, it's easy to fall into bad habits, especially as the winter months approach. "This is when people pack on the pounds, especially in the Midwest and on the East Coast," laments the trainer. "As soon as the temperature starts to drop, people become hermits: Instead of going to the gym, they watch TV. They're back to school and super busy. And it's football season, so there's tailgating. I even fall into that rut and I'm a trainer. If I don't want to get up at 5am and train people, why would my clients?"

Luckily, Black has certain tricks for getting people up and ready to exercise. Here are her top eight motivational tips after the break.

  1. "Before" Pictures: My number one belief is in "before pictures." (Um, me too — at least on The Biggest Loser.) I did that when I started doing fitness bikini competitions and that first picture for me was like "Oh my God." It's heart wrenching initially, but when you start making progress, it gets you so excited. What kept me motivated wasn't the scale or the lost inches, it was seeing the muscles form and the bikini get baggy.  You don't have to show anybody.
  2. Make Goal Boards: Originally, on mine I included pictures of people who inspired me like Jillian Michaels or Jackie Warner. I'd write things on it and put it on the fridge: "Are you drinking enough water? Is what you took out of the refrigerator going to make you feel good about yourself?" Whatever motivates you: If you get a diagnosis of diabetes, put that up on your fridge even. The problem is "out of sight out of mind." So, that constant being there in your face is important, especially during the holidays. You have to remind yourself why you're doing it — whether "it" is exercising, choosing water over wine or eating before a party, so you don't arrive and binge.
  3. Buy New Shoes: Going to a store and getting fitted for great new sneakers can help someone get motivated. That way you feel like you have the tools and also you get to wear something brand new. (We're telling you to shop. What are you waiting for?)
  4. Sign Up for a Charity 5K: Remember, you don't necessarily have to run a 5K.  You can just walk it.  So, pick a cause that's near and dear to your heart and sign up. It gives you a sense of accountability and purpose, not to mention a specific goal.
  5. Update Your Playlist: Download new songs, so you don't get tired of your workout mix. The music will keep you upbeat and motivated!
  6. Test Out Healthy Recipes: If you are stuck inside more because of the weather, try out some healthy recipes at home. You can find them in magazines or online and you'll be surprised by how easy many can be. I just made turkey chili and it was simple and delicious.
  7. Create a Family Challenge: In order to keep from feeling isolated, make weight loss and health a family challenge. See who can drink the most water or eat the most vegetables or do the most push-ups that week and offer some kind of reward — like picking the weekend movie or whatever.
  8. Work Out At Home: If you can't get yourself to the gym, you can always exercise at home with a DVD, MP3, TV or online workout. There's no excuse because the resources are endless. In fact, my fitness regimens are generally pretty basic: squats, lunges, push-ups, stairs — things you can do at home.

Try this interval training move from Rebecca Black and get fit without the gym:

Screen shot 2011-10-19 at 11.08.35 PM.png

Wide Leg Squat: This is a perfect exercise to tone and tighten your glutes (butt), quads and inner/outer thighs. It's quick, easy and can be done anywhere — even in your kitchen waiting for dinner to be done!

How To: Stand with your feet much wider than your shoulders, positioned at 10 and 2 (like on a clock). Roll your shoulders back and maintain a strong core and back. Keep your posture upright, as if you have a book on your head you don't want to drop.

Take a big deep breath in and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, while rolling your hips back and maintaining a tight core and strong posture. Squeeze your glutes tight and thrust your torso back up to starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 15-20 wide leg squats.

To make this more challenging you can hold dumbbells, a medicine ball or a body bar to add weight to the exercise.

Related Links:
Burn 200 Calories Without Even Trying
Yoga Moves For Flat Abs
12 Ways to Think Yourself Slim

For daily fitness tips follow SELF on Facebook and Twitter.

Rebecca Black Photo Source: Andrew Nicholson, Nicholson Studios

Image Source: Thinkstock
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
mkatelyn0408 mkatelyn0408 5 years
MD is wet and cold this morning AH
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 5 years
I love all of these tips! And I feel ya -- here in TX 60 degrees was a cold front and a shock to the system :) The 'you need fat for warmth' made me laugh!
7sevenj9 7sevenj9 5 years
What I would GIVE for 75 degrees! I woke up to 35 degrees this morning! Try motivating THAT cold butt!
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