Darkness, Fitness and How to Find the Light
It’s kind of ironic that the fitness craze kicks off every January, isn’t it? It’s cold. It’s dark. It feels like the anthesis of fitness. For me, fitness is long, warm days filled with sunshine and adventure. Yet here we are, stuck in January trying to get in shape. In some kind of weird way, we are trying to create our own warmth and sunshine on these long cold winter nights.
This urge is so strong, people stop drinking in January. For. Like. The. Entire. Month. Feels a bit extreme. They are lost to the undeniable fact that cab is best consumed on a cold winter night. At the same time, winter fitness is full of extremes, so these shifts aren’t surprising after all.
You should rethink your winter fitness goals based on seasonal restrictions. For example, in the winter, I run for the physical rewards, not the mile times. I often run in the dark or bundled in layers. It slows me down. It doesn’t slow down the physical results. Put down the fitness tracker in the winter. Instead, peek in the mirror after each workout! I do and I don’t feel one bit guilty about it. Praise yourself and use that motivation to do it again. If you need help on alternative ways to measure fitness progress, we have you covered.
Being restricted in extra layers with your lungs burning can be limiting. Instead, we are going to turn it into an opportunity. Mile times don’t matter. Looking cool is less important when it’s dark out. Use winter to figure out why you exercise. How do you want to feel? How do you want to look?
When it snows a few feet, you might not be able to make to Orange Theory, Soul Cycle or Yoga. Who wants to run outside when it’s 40 degrees and pelting rain? Ipso facto, you will be forced to try new things. Use these disruptions as opportunities. Try an online workout or create a simple fitness routine you can do anywhere. This will be helpful when you are travelling this summer!
You can use exercise to get past the expected season winter depression. Much of the enjoyment of exercise has to be attributed to the release of dopamine. Know that you will feel better and be energized after your workout. It will keep you going when it’s cold and dark and welcome the spring looking fantastic.