Staying Active Through a Cold Winter

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

I hate winter. But I love NYC more, so I endure the crappy winters here.

As both a Vitamin D and an endorphin addict, an inactive winter OR a winter of only working out inside sound like jail sentences to me, so I try to keep active throughout the winter and get at least some of my workouts in outside.

Here’s my tips for staying happy and healthy working out through the winter.

Staying Active Through a Cold Winter

Use winter as an opportunity to focus on different workouts. I admire those who keep running outside 5-6 days a week, but I honestly don’t have that mental fortitude. Instead, I use winter as a time to focus on my strength training so I can get strong, not soft during the winter. I feel like a caged animal doing these kinds of workouts once it gets warm, so this works out perfectly.

But tough it out when you can! I go freaking nuts if I don’t get some sunshine and outdoor workouts, even if I am completely freezing. And there’s nothing that makes me feel more badass than getting through a few miles when the temperatures are below freezing, but I don’t let a little thing like temperature stop me.

Be easy on yourself. Winter running is HARD, and I often feel like I have a black lung and am sucking back too much air. And honestly, sometimes the warm couch does win. When I have a crappy winter run or the couch wins, I remind myself that tomorrow’s a new day. I spend most of the year training for something or chasing down PRs, so winter is a good time to be nice to myself, because the weather certainly isn’t being nice to me! Some winter days, I’m happy to just get a longer walk in from the subway.

Buy cute stuff. No, really! When I’m going through any kind of workout slump, getting some cute new gear always helps, and the Target® C9 line is a great way to get some cute motivation at an awesome price.

Find workout buddies. Running can be a lonely pursuit sometimes, but especially when the weather’s bad. I wouldn’t make it through those long runs without my running buddies by my side to keep me motivated!

How do you stay motivated to stay active in the cold?

10 comments on “Staying Active Through a Cold Winter

  1. Sara @ Lake Shore Runner

    Train for something! I have trained for two marathons in the winter and there were many times I did not want to go out in below freezing temps (even below 0) but I knew I had to get the miles in under me in order to be best prepared for my race. Having that accountability made me not even think twice about whether or not a workout would happen outside…I didn’t want to do a long run on the treadmill (my limit is 15 miles on the treadmill and that is pushing it).

  2. Lauryn

    Oh man! I forgot how tough winter was until I was home for Thanksgiving in PA — when did I become a Californian?! Jokes aside, I still know how to get’er done when it’s cold. Like you, I focus on indoor classes and strength training to keep warm!

  3. Chrissy

    Great post! I run before work and it’s dark, so I make a real effort to get out in the sunshine on the weekend. It is such a mood booster to be outside. Almost 5 years ago, I went on a snow shoeing blind date. I absolutely loved it (and he wasn’t too bad either because we’ve been married for a year). It gets you out in the woods and you actually look forward to snow! Downhill skiing is the same. As you stressed, the right gear is so important. I have more Smartwool socks than regular ones. Our winters are long and I’ve learned if you can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em.

  4. Lauren @ Beautiful Plant-Based Life

    I just committed to the Runners World Run Streak, otherwise known as “36 days of Awesomeness”. I must run at least one mile EVERY day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This is the perfect challenge to get me out the door when it’s chilly/raining/snowing. I usually run a lot less in the winter,, so I’m happy to have a little extra motivation!

  5. Ash Bear

    I love this! I definitely stayed motivated two winters ago when I trained for NYC Half. I wanted it to be my PR race so I knew I couldn’t mess around. I only “planned” two outdoor running days a week as I expected to have crap weather. I also found that recruiting a running buddy for the long runs made it easier. One day Liz and I ran in Central Park while it was snowing and that’s one of my favorite runs to date!

  6. Laurie

    Great article! love me some C9. Inexpensive, but still well made. I think your C9 link actually goes to FYI.

    Love your blog!

  7. Nikki@will run for pizza

    Not that you need it, but I 100% approve this post! I hate the Ohio winters, but I find I still NEED to get outside and freeze by butt off to keep the winter depression at bay. Cute workout clothes always help too. They even help for just lounging on the couch and eating cookies all day on a cold winter day…I might have some issues.


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