Summer Bodies Are Made In Winter: 18 Ways To Stay Fit Even In The Cold

by Ashley Fern

It doesn't matter what season it is, motivating yourself to work out is never easy.

It doesn't matter if you plan on rocking a swimsuit for the next two months or you plan on burying yourself in a pile of blankets — getting, and staying, motivated is f*cking difficult.

Because, honestly, when the temperature is less than your age, the motivation to walk outside and actually make it to the gym or to a class is as far away as Memorial Day Weekend.

Instead of just sucking it up and going, you tell yourself next week will be different and you have months until summer... but before you know it, it's time to book your first summer vacation and you haven't stepped foot in a gym in months.

Since the most depressing month of the year has come to an end (finally!), you still have time to reinvent the work-out wheel.

Don't throw your health and wellness aside just because you aren't wearing short shorts right now.

In fact, winter is the best time to prepare yourself for those long, hot beach days spent in minimal clothing.

So how are you supposed to encourage yourself to exercise when all you want to do is curl up under the covers?

1. Buy new gym clothes.

Look good, feel good! If you need to put a little pep in your step, try buying some new work-out clothes. Everyone loves shopping, and exercising will give you a great excuse to buy and wear new items.

2. Try a class.

Can't seem to motivate yourself on your own? Try taking an aerobics class — it's a lot easier to keep going when there's someone yelling in your face. Also: You paid for these classes, so you're less likely to skip out.

3. Grab a partner.

Find someone to hit the gym with so it encourages you to actually go. You can take classes together and set goals together, which can even make it fun.

4. Get on a mat.

If vigorous activity isn't your speed, why not try yoga? It not only helps you improve your physical strength, but your emotional and mental as well.

5. Hop on a bike.

Do you hate cardio? You can admit it -- this is a safe space. I f*cking hate cardio. But you know what actually will get you wanting to move your body? Spinning.

6. Don't focus on the number on the scale.

Too many people get disgruntled by the number on the scale and give up because they aren't immediately seeing the results they want or think they deserve.

If you want to set a goal, by all means check your weight in the beginning, but don't let that number drive or dissuade you.

Be happy and motivated by what you look like in the mirror, not the number on a scale.

7. Fight the weather.

If you are one of those people who stays close to the couch after you get home from work, you're not alone. To fight the urge to stay inside, pack a gym bag and bring it to work.

You're already out for the day, so you really have no excuse to skip the gym.

8. If you're hungry, eat!

The biggest mistake people make is starving themselves. If you do this, all you're doing is slowing down your metabolism!

If you want to eat, then eat! Just remember portion control. The longer you starve yourself, the greater your chances of a horrible gut-wrenching binge later on. And everyone knows how awful food comas are.

9. Hit an area you've never targeted before.

Are you always running on the treadmill? Why not pick up some weights and see what those do for your body. Once you start noticing changes in places you don't typically target, you'll be addicted to the results.

10. Start being active on the weekends.

Stop wasting your weekends in a massive hungover state. These work-free days are perfect for doing what you couldn't during the week. You have hours upon hours to yourself, so why not dedicate at least one to making yourself feel better?

11. Make a schedule.

The best way to create a routine is to make and stick to a schedule.

12. Try on that one "outfit."

Everyone has the one dream outfit that absolutely requires hitting the gym in order to rock. Why not make this outlook your permanent lifestyle?

13. Strip your fridge.

You can't out-exercise a bad diet, so reinventing your refrigerator is a necessary step when getting into shape.

Get rid of all the bad sh*t you know you shouldn't be eating and stuff your fridge with fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, vegetables and tons more healthy items.

Yes, that's right -- get rid of those chocolate mousse pudding cups.

14. Learn to cook foods you'll actually enjoy eating.

Buying healthy food is only step one.

You need to buy things you actually like eating. An issue many people have is after they finish preparing a meal, they're still hungry and, as a result, they eat whatever they can get their hands on.

You can avoid this by preparing meals designed to actually feed you, with lots of lean proteins and complex carbs.

15. Plan a vacation.

It's hard to keep yourself motivated if you have nothing to look forward to, which is why planning a trip can help get the ball rolling.

Just make sure not to fall back into your bad habits once the trip is over.

16. Keep up maintenance on the rest of your body.

Look good, feel good. If you're keeping up with the rest of your appearance, you're only going to want your body to match.

So don't skip those trips to the nail or hair salon. Feeling good is just as important as looking good -- and your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

17. Work out at home

There are tons of exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home if you don't feel like stepping foot into a gym.

If you want to take the less intense route, Netflix offers a variety of in-home work-out videos, and YouTube is flooded with videos.

If you want to kick it up a notch, think about investing in an in-home spin bike from Peloton.

You can bring live, intense and motivating workouts right to your living room. Burning over 400 calories without stepping out the front door? I'm into it.

18. Find a way to be accountable.

Sign up for classes with a cancellation fee and you'll be penalized for skipping; find a work-out partner who won't let your typical excuses fly, or set a realistic goal or vacation you know you can actually achieve and a vacation in a reasonable timeframe (aka don't aim to drop 20 pounds by next Thursday).

All of these things will force you to stick to your routine. Remember: You're doing this for you, so you're only cheating yourself.