It’s winter. It’s cold. The days are shorter. It rains a lot. The body is creaky. 

Most people would much rather head to a bar and warm up with some wine or head out to dinner and load up on those hearty warming foods the body so badly craves at this time of the year. Just because the weather has dropped doesn’t mean the fitness routine should too. In fact this is the time to be working out and staying active because with the cold comes stiffer muscles and joints as we consume less water, there is less moisture in the air and the body uses more energy to stay warm. And we all know summer bodies are made in winter.

Here are six easy tips to keep you going:

1. Don’t think, just do – keep the routine going

It’s so easy to keep hitting the snooze button on the alarm and stay in bed the extra 5, 10, 15 minutes and before you know it you’ve missed your workout. The more you think and find reasons to justify putting off the workout the more likely you are to miss it completely. Aiming for after work often gets derailed because the thought of a hot dinner and a nice glass of wine is much more enticing. Stick to the routine by scheduling your workouts in the calendar and then reward yourself with dinner afterwards.

2. Change your program

Did you know the more muscle mass you have the higher the body temperature? Keep things interesting by mixing up the program. Try new ways of exercising, add extra weight to workouts or take tension away to increase intensity. If you only do resistance training add some cardio and vice versa. Add a complimentary workout to your exercise routine for example adding yoga to a regular pilates workout is excellent and many studios are heated in winter so it’s nice and toasty inside. 

3. Recruit a friend

Bring a friend along and you can be accountability buddies. Keeping each other motivated will make it less likely one of you will cancel the session and it makes working out more fun. 

4. Treat yourself to new workout clothes

Nothing motivates more than feeling good so treat yourself to some nice new winter workout gear. There are many Australian brands around now that offer ethical and Australian-made activewear at reasonable prices. With all the high-tech fabrics on the market anyone can look amazing in tights no matter your body shape.

5. Set yourself new goals

This is perhaps the most important one. Setting new goals will keep the motivation alive because there is something to work towards. In the pilates studio ask your instructor to reassess where you’re at and work together to see where you can improve. Is there a specific thing you would like to achieve? Perhaps running that marathon, winning the tennis match or round of golf or being able to swim more laps in the pool. These are all things your instructor can help with to improve performance.

6. Keep your eating on track

Don’t fall into the trap of eating too much comfort food. This can contribute to loss of motivation and cause feelings of  sluggishness and heaviness. Try to aim for a balanced diet that is nourishing yet warming and full of good nutrients. This doesn’t mean you can’t have that piece of chocolate as an after dinner treat. Moderation is the key.