The frosts have arrived, the snow is on the way, and it’s so cold that it’s “my face hurts” degrees when you head out into the fresh air. And all you want to do is turn into a grizzly and hibernate in the house with a hot chocolate (and marshmallows) for a few months until the mild weather comes back again. But should you really let your fitness slip just because the weather is bad?

I get it. It’s SO easy to want to put your comfy clothes on and chill out with Netflix – and with Christmas mere weeks away, it’s easy to want to stuff your face with rich, delicious food while you’re at it. You need to ask yourself what the cost is if you do that. Are you going to be undoing the hard work you’ve put in getting your body shape exactly the way that you want it? Are you going to end up watching the weight creep back on that you’ve spent time to get down to a weight that is healthy for your height? Whatever the motivation has been behind you getting up off your butt and going to the gym, you need to keep it firing while you get used to the colder weather.

The one thing that you have to remember on the days that all you want to do is snuggle up and eat, is that you are not a bear. You do not need to add layers and layers of fat to your body to keep you snug and warm while you sleep for a few months. Overindulgence can feel great – for the five minutes that you’re feasting – but in the long term, overindulgence leads to negative feelings, sluggish feelings, and the potential invitation for colds and bugs. What you need to do is continue to maintain the dietary balance you’ve been putting in the entire year so far, and you need to keep working out. You don’t have to keep going out in the freezing air for a run though, especially if you can afford luxury home gym equipment that will keep you going. If you have the means, turn a room in your home into your very own gym! Then you’ll really have no excuse except to keep working out!

Workouts may fall down a little in the Christmas period, but you don’t have to weld yourself to the sofa under a mountain of blankets if you don’t want to. Your motivation hasn’t got up and gone; it’s still there. You just need to hang onto it! If you need some more reasons to get up and get moving despite the chilly weather, here they are:

Your Mindset Matters

Cold, rain, snow, slush – all of these excuses can feel like the right reason to forget your workout for the day. If you don’t want to go outside, do your workout inside. Put your favourite TV show and get moving while watching it. March on the spot, run with raised knees, burpee your way to the ad break – whatever you do, move and keep going until the end of the TV show. Before you know it, you’ve kept your heart rate up for 45 minutes without even trying. That’s a Game of Thrones episode right there.

Do Something Different 

If pounding the pavement as a runner is your thing and the cold air is putting you off, what about weights? Indoor HIIT and cardio are great, but floor weights and Pilates also have their place in your workout schedule. If you are loathe to get outside and head to a class, there are plenty of online classes on YouTube that you could get involved in, instead.

What About A Trainer?

Did you know that you could hire a personal trainer to come to your house? If you have the equipment – and the cash – you could do your usual outdoor workout in the comfort of your own home. The personal trainer? He’s just for motivation. There’s no need at all to feel like you’re too sluggish to get up off the sofa, not when you can utilize the skills of someone else to come and encourage you until you do. It’s a costly way to do things, but when the snowy weather steals your mojo it may be what you need to get going.

SAD Has Answers

It’s common to feel a little low when the Christmas season is over, but SAD is something else entirely. Seasonal Affective Disorder can make you feel like you cannot get off the couch, but if you move your body and workout, the hormones along can lift your spirits and make you feel good at the same time. You can also invest in a lightbox, which when used for half an hour a day, can help to reduce some of the sadness that you may be feeling.

You Haven’t Overdone It 

The Christmas Lunch with all the family, the treats on the side in the kitchen, the cakes, and mince pies – they’re all there to tempt you through the season. It’s okay if they do; because you haven’t overdone it. Keeping an eye on your calories while you’re letting yourself have some food freedom is essential, and if you’re doing it right, you’ll know that you didn’t eat 3500 calories per day – equalling 1lb of weight. As long as you are burning more than you consume, you can have those treats and enjoy your Christmas lunch. There’s nothing saying that you can’t count the calories a little closer and workout harder, is there? There’s no motivation like a cheeseboard and crackers!

The winter months bring gloom and darkness, but there are plenty of reasons and ways that you can keep going with your workout and emerge into January without starting all over again. Take the time to work out what works for you, and you’ll be patting yourself on the back as 2019 turns in.