It’s that time of year again. Winter. When the nights are getting longer, the days colder, and it’s becoming harder and harder to get outside and keep active. Unfortunately the cold weather can really have an impact on our motivation. But just like any other time of year, it’s still important to keep fit and moving during the winter months. And luckily there are a few things we can do to make the transition from cozy fireplace to freezing streets as smooth and painless as possible.

Dress the part

Due to the darker weather, safety is paramount when it comes to outdoor winter exercise. So dressing accordingly is important. There are two aspects to winter workout gear. First, as mentioned above, is safety. Second is comfort and warmth. Make sure to wear plenty of high-visibility gear, and maybe even a head torch if you’ll be out and about in places that aren’t well lit!

Warm up

Possibly the number one obstacle to going out during winter is the cold. Stepping outside when temperatures are looming around zero is hardly the most appealing prospect. But by warming up before leaving the house we stand to make our lives much easier. A few minutes of stretching followed by a bit of light cardio is all you need to get the blood flowing and the heart beating. Then, when it comes to stepping outside, it won’t feel quite so daunting.

Occupy your mind

Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks whilst exercising is a brilliant way to pass the time and take your mind off the weather. Not only will you stay entertained, but the time will fly. And for extra motivation, only allow yourself to listen to the best content whilst your out exercising.

Take your friends

Exercising with friends is a guaranteed way to keep motivated. Being accountable for your workout regime, and having people to answer to if you take a day off, can really help to keep you going through the darker days. The reality is that we’re much less likely to call something off if a friend’s coming with us. This counts double for exercise. Talking and walking will make the time go by in a flash. And if safety is a concern when it’s dark outside, being with other people can provide lots of security and peace of mind.

Most importantly, just keep going!

Keeping fit and active isn’t always easy. Sometimes we go through lazy periods, other times the weather gets the best of us, and sometimes we just don’t have the time. But as with most things of this nature, motivation is the key to success. So to keep yourself driven, why not check out these 6 inspiring health and fitness documentaries, or take a look at these 9 motivating TED Talks on exercise, and wellbeing.