Motivated to Move

Stay in motion despite dark days of winter

By Tina Kissavos

Of course you have every intention of exercise all 12 months of the year. But shorter days and longer nights are sapping your energy and motivation. You’re not alone. In addition to feeling sleepy or downright lazy, a lack of sunshine and warmth can also wreak havoc on your inner athlete.

Here are some tried-and-true tips to get you moving whether it’s after work in the dark or during the day at your workplace. Become your most valuable client. Make it official by penciling yourself into your own schedule or agenda.

Most people wouldn’t dare miss a meeting with their boss, patient, or customer yet when it comes to honouring a personal commitment that requires physical or mental effort, it’s easy to cancel or postpone. Treating yourself as a client encourages you to choose a specific time, place, and activity that you’ll respect regardless of mood.

Don’t just “wing it.” Print out a progressive fitness plan two to three days per week that you must physically write on and update to keep track of your improvements. Progressive workouts are mini goals that help inspire you to go further, one step at a time. Gradually increasing your weights, reps, sets or exercise time lends incentive. You’ll be chasing each mini goal week after week. Create a program every 30 days. This allows you to work on something new (strength or cardio) and will inspire you to keep going long after the sun goes down.

Eliminate hesitation and remove the wiggle room between work and exercise. The most creative excuses appear out of nowhere and they most often happen while driving from work to home on a cold winter’s eve. Have your exercise clothes on or with you. Eat a healthy snack at least one hour before your workout to remove hunger as potential for postponing. Keep your music, water bottle, towel, and everything else at the ready. There won’t be any excuse to make that detour away from your appointment with physical exertion.

Dedicate 15 to 20 minutes of a one-hour lunch break to a speedy workout session that doesn’t require getting on the floor. Choose four exercises (squats, desk push up, lunges, chair plank) and do them each three times for 30 seconds. As you become stronger, increase to 45 seconds. A quick shirt change is all you need after this light workout and you’ll feel invigorated and refreshed.

Step it up in the accountability department. Loose winter clothing hides bad decisions like overeating and a lack of exercise. If you’re determined to not put weight on by spring, find ways to stay accountable over the colder months. Invite people to exercise with you. Whether you form a group at the office, get your family at home involved, or download an exercise app that asks you to check in, don’t let the winter blues prevent you from moving. You’ll be grateful come April and May.

Tina KissavosCanFitPro-certified trainer and owner of the online ‘Busy Mom Bootcamp’ Tina ‘Toner’ Kissavos, has over a decade of experience in helping people switch to a healthier lifestyle. Visit her at to request information about her training/nutrition services and more.


Winter 2019, Vol 11 N°1

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