5 Ways To Stay Motivated For Exercise In The Winter

Greenletes / Running / 5 Ways To Stay Motivated For Exercise In The Winter

Last updated on February 28th, 2021 at 10:23 am

If you live in the Northeast (or anywhere with a winter), you don’t need me to tell you that exercising in the winter can be a struggle. When the sun goes down at 4:30pm and the temperature is below freezing in the morning, it makes it difficult to stay motivated to workout. It’s much more enticing to bundle up in a warm sweater than to put on your exercise gear and get in a workout. That being said, there are ways to keep your exercise routine up throughout the cold, long and dark winter.  Whether it’s taking a snowy walk, hitting an exercise class or practicing  yoga, I’ve got 5 tips to keep you motivated for exercise this winter. 

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5 tips to keep you motivated for exercise in the winter. Simple & realistic options for when you don't feel like leaving the house! #fitness #fitnessmotivation #exercise

  1. Set a realistic goal to accomplish before spring. Think of a fitness goal you’ve always wanted to achieve and plan to make that goal a reality by March 21st. The easiest way to do that is to break your goal down into smaller steps. Let’s say your goal is to do 100 pushups but you can only do 5 right now. How are you going to get from 5 to 100? Set a smaller goal for every two weeks and work your way up to 100. Be realistic and start small.
  2. Put on your workout clothes right away. If you workout after work, change into your workout clothes before you leave work or as soon as you get home. Do NOT put on comfy clothes and expect to hit the gym an hour later. Or if you workout in the morning, put on your workout clothes as soon as you wake up. It’s a simple change, but I promise it works wonders.
  3. Indulge in an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Having a 1pm cup of coffee or tea gives provides an extra jolt for an afternoon workout. Caffeine has been shown to boost athletic performance (read: the truth about coffee and your health), so grab your coworkers and take an afternoon coffee break.
  4. Listen to something interesting while working out. With all the technology available now, you are no longer limited to listening to just music during your workout. Download your favorite podcast, an awesome audiobook or a new album, and don’t let yourself listen to it until you start exercising. You will look forward to exercise, instead of dreading it.
  5. Workout at home. The winter weather can prevent you from doing things outside or even getting in the car to go to the gym. When you don’t want to leave your home, open up your computer and pull up an online workout. The web is full of free and paid workout-at-home videos. Here are a few of my favorites:

POPSUGAR Fitness (free on YouTube)

Fitness Blender (free on YouTube)

Body Fit By Amy (free on YouTube)

YogaGlo ($18/month and totally worth it. Over 3,500 classes taught by awesome instructors)

Daily Burn ($14.95/month)

Grokker ($14.99/month)


  1. nutritioulicious

    Great tips! Especially love that you included some home workout videos – i”ve been taking advantage of that lately!

  2. anne@Craving Something Healthy

    Spot on! Love the videos! I had such a hard time with winter workouts when I lived in Boston – I had to move to Scottsdale to fix that 🙂

  3. Deanna Segrave-Daly

    Since I exercise first thing in the morning, I always put out my exercise clothes the night before – it’s half the reason I even make it to the gym some mornings – great post!

  4. Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen

    Read this ask I was checking my e-mails this morning. They can wait until after my workout! Gearing up for my run now!

    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      Awesome. I was working today, but got some yoga in this afternoon. I’m excited for 40 degree weather tomorrow to run!

  5. sallykuz

    Listening to podcasts motivates me to get out and walk/run!

  6. dianeboy

    Love your ideas! I especially like to take advantage of working out at home. Somedays it’s as simple as a yoga you tube.

  7. momskitchenhandbook

    #2 and #4 are two of my tricks…and love the video recommendations!


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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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