5 Tips for Sticking to Your Workout Routine All Winter

birddog exercise, plank, gym mat

Source: iStock

The most difficult part of a long, cold winter can often be sticking to your fitness routine. After being bombarded with sweet treats at the office all day, we finally make it back to our cozy abodes, and it’s so much easier to slip on some sweats, boil some pasta (or order-in), and spend the night on the couch rather than at the gym.

These are common problems, which is why we sought the advice of the experts at Fit Body Boot Camp, a group personal training program. Worried about staying in tip-top shape throughout the holidays? According to Josh Carter, certified instructor at Fit Body Boot Camp, it is possible to overcome the dreaded winter weight gain — with these five tips.

Buddy up

Chances are, you have a buddy who wants to get fit too; one with whom you happen to be a little competitive. You know if you say you’re going to meet him at the gym and then you don’t show, you’ll catch hell — even if it’s pouring rain or the road is covered in snow. Plus, once you’re there, you’ll push a little harder because there’s no way you’ll let him do more pushups than you, right?

Make big moves

Bicep curls are what they are, but if you want to make big changes, you need to make big moves. The more muscles you activate per unit of time, the bigger the results. Choose moves like pull-ups, pushups, squats, dead lifts, and kettle bell swings. These big moves elicit the “afterburn” effect, which means your metabolism is boosted for over 30 hours after the workout. Essentially you’ll get more bang for your buck, and not waste a minute of your time.

Leave the excuses at home

Understand that, even if it’s cold, even if you have to wear 10 layers of sweatshirts, even if you have to hike 10 miles uphill in five feet of snow, there are simply no excuses. Your health does not get a vacation just because it’s chilly. There’s always a way to get fit and stay fit. You are worth it, which brings me to…

Have a “plan B”

dumbbell push-ups

Source: iStock

Sometimes, it is literally impossible to get to the gym. Forces of nature can, on occasion, conspire to keep you from getting where you need to be, so on these occasions, have a backup plan. When you surf the net and come across cool at-home workouts, mark them for future use. Here’s a no-equipment workout to start your collection:

First, do 100 jumping jacks (total, you can break them up) to get your blood flowing, then set a timer for 20 minutes and do an AMRAP (complete “as many rounds as possible”) of the following:

Winter after-burn

  • 10 Burpees
  • 15 Pushups
  • 20 Squats
  • 25 Mountain climbers (per leg)
  • 30 Step-back lunges
  • 35 Sit-ups

*Push it hard and complete as many rounds as you can for 20 minutes.

It’s OK to cheat on occasion

You know you’re going to eat more than you should at some point (probably multiple points) this holiday season. However, did you know that there is a quick, easy way to make that “cheat” work for you? You see, when you cheat, you up-regulate a hormone called “leptin,” which literally controls how much fat you can burn. Unfortunately, when dieting, the levels of this hormone decline, but a cheat meal (or even cheat night) can boost this master hormone significantly.

That said, I have a simple rule when it comes to cheating: Earn your cheat, burn your cheat. What that means is before you cheat, you have to earn it. Make sure you stick to your nutrition plan and hit every planned workout all week prior to your cheat. Then, the day after your cheat, have a monster workout planned. With all the fresh leptin floating around, you’ll actually burn more fat than normal. Plus, you’ll be able to take full advantage of all the benefits that the ‘afterburn’ effect has to offer.

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