Staying motivated to exercise during winter lockdown

running in snow

Last week I lost all motivation to run. A combination of week three of England’s third lockdown and January’s dull days meant I’d just had enough. So, instead of forcing myself out for runs or motivating myself to workout at home, I spent my mornings having lie-ins and my evenings watching TV. It was the break I needed as this week I’ve managed to get out for morning runs again, despite the sub-zero temperatures and icy pavements.  

I know I’m not the only one struggling this winter. Talking to friends and seeing comments on social media, this January has been, understandably, harder than normal. 

So, if you’ve been feeling unmotivated to get outdoors for a run, or do any other exercise, here are some of the ways I’ve managed to motivate myself again during the winter lockdown. 

Have a goal  

Although I was happy to take a week off exercise, the main reason why it didn’t worry me too much was that I knew that in a few weeks’ time I’d be starting my marathon training. I know that once my marathon training starts I will be up at 5am to get my morning run done. I won’t skip strength sessions and my diet will get a lot better. I’ll have a goal to aim for and the desire to achieve my goal will motivate me no matter how cold and dark it is outside. 

Mental benefits of exercise 

When it comes to exercise it can be easy to focus on the physical benefits of working out – being fitter or feeling stronger. But it is also important to remember the mental benefits of exercise. One of the reasons why I was keen to get back outside running again after my week off is that I knew that it would improve my mental wellbeing – starting my day with a run really helps to improve my mood; runner’s high is a thing! 

Exercise with a friend 

The current England lockdown rules allows one person to exercise outdoors with one other person. So this is a great reason to get outdoors and meet up with a friend to exercise. It doesn’t have to be running with someone, but can simply be meeting up with a friend to go for a walk. Whether you live alone or not, lockdowns can be isolating and simply meeting up with a friend for a 30 minute walk can be a great way of getting some much needed social interaction and a break from the monotony of lockdown life. 

These are some of the ways I’ve managed to regain my running motivation but I’d love to know if you have any other ways you have stayed motivated to exercise during the winter lockdown. 

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