5-week workout plan to help you stick to fitness goals this winter

Winter hibernation doesn't have to include skipping a workout. Getty Images

While it is tempting to hibernate like a bear all winter, there’s no reason to slow down on your workout routine.

In fact, experts like Sergio Pedemonte, trainer and co-owner of Your House Fitness in Toronto, said winter is the perfect season to start planning your workouts ahead.

The importance of keeping schedule will help reinforce the fact that you need to exercise, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening. Make the workout something you need, not something you want,” he told Global News.

“We usually see a decrease of workouts towards the end of the year, especially in December. In January, there often is a big spike in the first two weeks as people are settling back to their routines or setting resolutions for the new year.”

READ MORE: Long walks are a good form of exercise — but it’s not always enough

And even if you prefer staying indoors during winter months, this still means easily fitting in a workout or two in your schedule. And if the thought of running outside or even driving to the gym sounds like a hassle, start with some workouts at home.

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Pedemonte suggested setting up multiple alarms or reminders to get you started. “If the first reminder doesn’t get you to your workout destination, the other reminders will force you to stop getting comfortable and go exercise.”

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If you find yourself unmotivated, try finding a workout buddy or trainer.

“You will be less likely to cancel a workout session with a good friend with whom you made a commitment or a personal trainer whom you are paying to be there.”

READ MORE: Indoor workouts to battle winter weight gain

Also, be mindful where you are working out. “People love returning to places they feel comfortable in, whether it’s at home, your condo gym, commercial gym, or even running outside with the right equipment. Love where you are going, so it will make it easier to stick to your routine.”

Not sure how to get started? Below Pedemonte outlines a five-week routine.

Week 1

Start slow, no matter what the goal is.

“The most important thing to check off your list is just getting to the gym or studio to help you stick to your goals. One hour may be too much at the beginning, so start with 15 to 30-minute workouts and build from there. It’s not a race nor a competition; it’s about you feeling happy and being committed to your workouts.”

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Week 2

Track your goals and achievements. “Keep a record of all the workouts and accomplishments you have achieved. This will come in handy if you start doubting yourself on how hard you worked or how little you did. You can look at your past workout logs and feel satisfied and motivated that you tried your best.”

Week 3

If fatigue kicks in, have a solution. “Incorporate fascial stretch therapy or massage therapy to your off days to speed recovery time.”

READ MORE: How to avoid a winter workout rut

Week 4

Make a short-term goal instead of a long-term one. “For this week increase your runs by 10 minutes or go five to 10 pounds heavier on each workout. It will keep you challenged and hungry for more.”

Week 5

Switch things up. “Leave your comfort zone and go to a class by yourself or with a friend. Spice things up and go for a strength class and maybe the next day try out a spinning class.”
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