Wellbeing & Motivation > Keeping Your Fitness Motivation Up Through Winter

Keeping Your Fitness Motivation Up Through Winter

17th Jan 20

Keeping up your motivation can be a challenge at the best of times, and winter takes things to a whole new level of difficulty. There’s not much daylight, it’s cold, and everything you see seems to be unhealthy. It’s just a  part of what makes winter what it is, and keeping up healthy habits with all of that going on is really going to push you to your limits at times.

All hope is not lost, though, as we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to help you keep your eyes on your goals and workout in a way that is best for you without having to sacrifice all of your time, energy and all of the wonderful things that winter does have to offer. Finding balance is always the most important thing, after all.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

Make Things Practical

Image of a gym with equipment out

One of the biggest problems that winter has is making things so inconvenient. As a season, it has a really bad habit of making us want to sit and relax and enjoy all of the things winter has to offer as well as balancing many of the social festivities that comes with it. It’s generally draining, to say the least. One of the easiest ways to fight that and keep up your motivation all the way through winter is to make things practical. Keep things as easy for you as they possibly can be, and you’ll have less of a reason to stop!

What makes this even more significant is if you don’t like the workouts you do now, either. Say you exercise outside, for example. Running or cycling can be made a real pain when it comes to winter, and on top of that, even going to the gym can be awful when it’s cold and dark outside. Try your best to make exercise enjoyable, even if it’s just until you feel more energised. Just remember, it’s temporary, and there are things you can do at home when you can’t manage!

Exercise in Less Time

Someone writing in a notebook a workout plan

Not only is convenience an issue when we look at keeping motivated in winter but even just finding the time to do any exercise in the first place can be an issue too! Balancing working life or family life with fitness can make it difficult to fit an exercise routine into your days. That’s made even worse with the seasonal sales, parties, and general social events many of us enjoy so much.

A great way to help combat that is to find the most time-efficient workout that you possibly can. You can choose anything from set styles like supersets and a better workout plan like push-pull legs through to active commuting and HIIPA too! It can also be worth researching other cardio workout styles, such as high-intensity interval training or Tabata, in order to make the most of your time and really get in all the workouts you need to do in the least amount of time. All of these are mega-time savers!

The Balance

A table of people raising their glasses

Another big thing that people seem to forget about keeping up your motivation in winter is that it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. Winter brings a load of things into daily life that are only temporary, like food, festivities, drinks and social life. Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to avoid all of those things! In fact, if you do avoid it all, you’re just asking to feel demotivated!

With the time of year, it’s good to relax a little bit and let yourself indulge. Of course, the healthier you manage to do this, the better, but if you keep yourself from it completely, you may find it harder to stick to your routine at all. The most effective way to manage it is to create your own system where you eat healthily on your working days and relax a little bit on your days off. Find a balance that fits you personally. Don’t make your life dedicated to fitness if that’s not what you enjoy!

Workout With A Friend

Man on an exercise machine with a woman coaching him

One of the best ways to keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to winter motivation is to share your burden with someone else. If you’re having a hard time sticking to your workouts, why not find someone who is in the same boat working towards a similar goal to you (since you set it so well, it should be easy!)?

You have a whole world of options out there. The social side of exercising is huge, after all. You can join online communities for tips and progress sharing, as well as in real life. Training with a friend, partner or even someone you know at the gym is an awesome way to push harder than ever. You’d be amazed!

Remind Yourself

A man stood in front of a chalk board with muscle arms drawn behind him

It can be easy in the winter months to lose track of why you started exercising and what you wanted to achieve from it in the first place. What can really help you get through these tough days is setting a reminder on your phone to pop up with a short ‘mantra’ for why you started exercising and your long-term reasons to keep going.

Looking at the long-term goals can help you overcome the short-term challenges, for example, ‘I exercise because it energises, focuses and helps me feel better’. There are tonnes of different reasons to keep on pushing out there, after all. You just need to find one that you feel strongly about and try your best. If you really can’t keep on going, don’t be afraid to take little breaks, either!

Spice Thing Up!

Two people training with battle ropes

This is a massive thing to remember about exercising at any time of year, so listen up. One of the best things you could ever do is to spice up your training. It’s easy to find something you like and do that forever, but your body won’t like it too much, and you’ll get bored after a while. It’s only natural, after all.

Be sure to change the duration, intensity, rest periods and style of exercising every couple of weeks to keep you stimulated both mentally and physically, your mind will appreciate it, and your body will respond to it.

Remember This

Completely contradictory to all of this, however, is that you also have to be consistent with when you exercise. Keeping your motivation in winter is hard, but keeping up your motivation lifelong is even harder.

Ideally, the days and times you exercise should be the same to help build a routine. Then you can get to a point where you don’t need to motivate yourself as much, as you’ve created a routine of exercising that you simply do without thinking.

Days can be hard to maintain, but the time of day at least will help. Exercising in the morning is recommended as you’re less susceptible to external distractions and influences that can prevent you from training, and it’s a great way to start your day, leaving you feeling motivated. Either way, exercise however you like, and just try your best and put your well-being first.

Here’s an NHS guide on winter well-being too. A cold is the last thing you need!


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.