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Beat the Winter Blues: How to Stay Motivated to Maintain Healthy Habits

I find this time of year the hardest to stick to my healthy habits and I think it's because the "freshness" of the new year is now gone, we've been teased with some warmer weather for a few days, and then the freezing cold sets back in which makes it feel like winter is never going away! Can you relate?


Staying committed to our well-being during the colder months is crucial for both our physical and mental health.


So, how can we overcome the temptation to hibernate and instead stay motivated to stick to our healthy routines?


Here are some strategies you can use to beat the winter blues and prioritize your health even when the weather outside is frigid.


indoor workout


Set Realistic Goals

Start by setting achievable goals that take into account the challenges of the season. Instead of aiming for ambitious outdoor workouts in freezing temperatures, consider indoor exercises or shorter, more manageable outdoor activities like brisk walks during the warmer parts of the day.


I set a small goal for myself to do 10 minutes on my spin bike a day, (because it's only 10 minutes!) and I let myself get off after 5 if I'm really not feeling it that day, but more often than not, once I'm on, I keep going because STARTING is always the hardest part!


Find Indoor Workouts You Enjoy

Don’t let the cold weather deter you from staying active. Experiment with indoor workout routines that you find enjoyable, whether it’s yoga, dancing, or home workouts. Investing in a few pieces of home exercise equipment can also provide motivation to stay active without braving the cold.


Embrace Seasonal Foods
healthy winter meal

While winter often brings cravings for hearty, calorie-rich comfort foods, it also offers an abundance of nutritious seasonal produce. Incorporate warming soups, roasted vegetables, and citrus fruits into your meals to nourish your body with vitamins and minerals while satisfying your cravings for comfort.


You can also opt for healthier versions of your favourite comfort foods by making some simple substitutions. You'll be amazed at what healthy alternatives you can find for your favourites with a quick search on the web!


Create a Support System

Surround yourself with a supportive community that shares your health goals. Whether it’s a workout buddy, a healthy eating group, or an online fitness community, having people to encourage and hold you accountable can significantly boost your motivation, even on the coldest days.


Focus on the Benefits

Remind yourself of the many benefits of maintaining healthy habits, especially during the winter months. Regular exercise can boost your mood, alleviate stress, and strengthen your immune system, helping you ward off seasonal illnesses. Also, eating well can improve your energy levels and overall well-being, making it easier to combat the winter blues.


Practice Self-Compassion

Be gentle with yourself on days when motivation is low. It’s natural to experience fluctuations in energy and motivation, especially during the winter. Instead of berating yourself for not sticking to your routine, acknowledge your efforts and focus on taking small steps forward. Remember, progress, not perfection, is what matters most.


Celebrate Your Successes

Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Whether it’s completing a workout, choosing a nutritious meal, or simply getting out of bed on a cold morning, recognize and reward yourself for your efforts. Positive reinforcement can help reinforce healthy habits and motivate you to continue making positive choices.


Visualize Your Goals

visualizing health goals

Take a few moments each day to visualize your health and wellness goals. Picture yourself feeling strong, vibrant, and full of energy. Visualizing your desired outcomes can help reinforce your motivation and keep you focused on the bigger picture, even when faced with temporary setbacks or challenges. Whether it seems like it or not at the moment, spring IS around the corner and think of how great it will feel when you're getting out there with healthy habits in place instead of starting over again.


Just remember: staying motivated to maintain healthy habits during the winter months requires patience, determination, and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. By setting realistic goals, finding enjoyable ways to stay active, nourishing your body with seasonal foods, cultivating a support system, focusing on the benefits, practicing self-compassion, celebrating your successes, and visualizing your goals, you can beat the winter blues and prioritize your health even when it’s cold outside. So, bundle up, embrace the season, and remember that your well-being is worth the effort, no matter the weather!


I'd love for you to let me know in the comments one thing you do during the winter to help keep your healthy habits in place!





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Hi, I'm Michelle!

Michelle Walker Health and Nutrition Coach

As a mom of 2, bonus mom to 3 more, teacher, and health coach/nutritionist running my own business, I know what it's like to be a "busy mom" trying to stay healthy in a way that actually works!

 

It's my mission to help other busy moms find simple ways to get healthier without dieting or restricting their favourite foods.

Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed - and getting healthy shouldn't feel like a full time job that stresses you out!

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