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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Winter Blues - why it is harder to stay motivated and keep up with workouts

Finding reasons to keep on track with exercising

Getting off the Couch

We are in the thick of winter, the days are fleeting, it gets dark earlier and sunshine is in short supply. No wonder many of us, who had to push ourselves to maintain a structured schedule for workouts find ourselves lagging behind, losing our motivation or completely quitting. It turns out there is a scientific reason behind our innate urge to hibernate, the lower levels of vitamin D due to lack of sunlight is proportionate to our depressed inclination.

It is much easier to make fitness resolutions than to sustain them. After the holidays in the New Year, spurred on with the best intentions, we draw up an ambitious plan of working out. As the weeks roll by, these peter out and we lose steam. Soon we fall so far behind that instead of trying to get back on track, we give up altogether. Even knowing it serves no purpose to engage in the blame game, it is hard to escape it. Faced with one’s own lack of inclination, the pall of gloomy weather as well as the uphill task of the goals we have set ourselves the simple task of exercising feels completely overwhelming.

Overcoming Obstacles

That we have company in our sedentary rut might be some cause for celebration. But we need to remind ourselves that with all best practices the first step is to figure out the right approach that works for us and link it to our lifestyle. Even after being aware of the benefits of working out, it is not easy to follow through. So let us take a moment and reiterate specific, tangible words. The immediate spinoff is improved health and flexibility, elevated energy and mood as well as restful sleep. The long term benefits are reduced stress, anxiety and definitive improvement in mental wellbeing.

The next stumbling block are the many clichéd excuses that do not get us off the couch, especially during these cold, gloomy winter months. Most of us are well aware of them. I find it challenging to be consistent, and also tend to get distracted easily by other demands on my time. To get myself back on track, I have to begin with baby steps, enroll a buddy and find increments of time and slowly shake off my lethargy. My favorite workouts are yoga and walking but recently I have pushed my limits with some strength training.

Staying the Course

I have come to realize that change comes from within and to have some sustainability one has to live in the present moment in terms of keeping up with workouts. One of my recent successes with keeping my fitness routine on track is to add it in my calendar just like other appointments, blocking out time. When the reminder pops up, I am forced to take action. I have also set more realistic goals for myself, rather than pushing myself too hard and failing altogether. Focusing on the rewards, has become another incentive. The undeniable surge of energy, the better sleep and the sense of camaraderie are all positive reinforcements that are much needed.

How have you been able to keep up your motivation to exercise in winter? Do share your secrets for success so we can reinforce each other in the journey towards fitness. What steps have you taken to make exercise a habit? I look forward to hearing your stories and being inspired.

We are stronger together


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