"You must be so busy this time of year, with New Year's resolutions and it being after the holidays."
I often hear this at this time of year from people who know I am a personal trainer. Maybe fitness industry marketing would have them believe this idea, but the truth is I don't see a noticeable increase in fitness attendance until spring approaches.
Do you feel like you wrestle with yourself to keep moving in the winter with the same intensity and consistency that you have other times of the year? Do you feel guilty or lazy? Here are my best winter workouts to beat those feelings and stay healthy:
✅ Remove the labels of "guilty" and "lazy" from yourself. Forever. ✅ Listen to what your body is telling you it needs and respond in kind. ✅ Trust that you know best how care for yourself.
Your body naturally and normally cycles through times of energy surge and repose, just like the seasons. Winter in particular is a time when your body may be asking for more rest, more nourishment and more gentle movement. You may crave sleeping in, heartier foods and spending more time with yourself or a small group of people where you don't have to be "on." Your body is using these restorative activities to create energy to get through the harshness of winter and prepare for the ramped-up activity of spring and summer.
I am not advocating spending the next couple of months on the sofa with Netflix and [sub your favorite winter comfort food here - mine is pasta fagiole]. Your body still needs daily movement for optimum physical and mental health. If the intensity of your workout is getting to you, consider doing fewer reps or lifting lighter weight to honor your body's energy level in that moment. If you have a personal trainer, don't be afraid to let them know you would like a less strenuous session. Walking and yoga are great options for moving when your energy feels low. All of these are empowering alternatives to feeling guilty or like you can't take care of yourself.
Steer clear of arguing with yourself about being "lazy" and fearing weight gain. They are unnecessary stressors that can block or reverse the health benefits that you are striving to achieve. I know firsthand how hard it is to do this, but I remind myself that that "lazy" is a lie and fear of weight gain is based on unhealthy standards promoted by the multi-Billion dollar diet and fitness industry.
Honor this season you are in. Prepare for the one that is coming. ❤️