Workout strategies for a cold, dark, whiny February

You don’t need motivation, our great leader Coach Julia once famously said, You just need to get off your ass and go.

Ever since she uttered those immortal words my exercise excuses have dramatically decreased. She is maddeningly right – I can’t wait around to feel like exercising; that rarely happens. I have to get into auto-pilot and move.

However. It’s harder to get going some days than others. Like when it’s been February forever and it’s dark and rainy and your legs are so white from lack of sunlight you can’t tell where ankle stops and sock begins. Or during the pre-Lady Time week, when you weep and rage in a stew of paranoia and unworthiness.

And if PMS meets February? It’s a real bitch, I tell you.

But February has been pretty good so far this year, workout wise, as I have employed some gentle strategies…

You Don't Need Motivation, You Just Need To Get Off Your Ass And Go
Our eternal thanks to for your awesome ass.
  • Walking home from work as workout – it’s a good 50 minutes and it draw a line under the working day. I change into my workout gear so I can make it a serious huff and puff power strut. Then when I get home, a nice stretch then exercise is all done and I don’t have to try and re-motivate myself.
  • Stockpiling episodes of my favourite podcasts – and holding them ransom for use on walks only, to encourage me to get outside.
  • Getting to yoga class or else – My awesome weekly class never fails to turn down the jibber-jabber in my mind, even just for an hour or two.
  • Being accountable – I committed to weekly updates on the Up & Running Forum so I know there’ll be Up & Runners chasing me with the Nagging Finger emoticon if I dare slacken off
  • Watching cooking shows while doing exercise DVDs – Okay this might sound counter-productive but it brings me happiness. It needs to be a DVD with very simple moves and minimal equipment that you’re really familiar with, so you don’t really need to look at the screen much. I like Cathe Friedrich’s Travel Fit as it only uses a resistance band. And audio isn’t that important for me with cooking shows, so I turn down the telly and listen to Cathe’s instructions on the laptop. Thus I fry my muscles while watching someone make a cake, and get all the joy of watching someone make a cake without sitting on my butt.
Cake and Cathe
Cake and Cathe

Do you have any sneaky strategies for making exercise more appealing when it’s dark outside? We’d love hear them!

  1. Kate
    I have set the picture as my desktop background, just the motivational advice I need, thank you!
  2. Brenda A.
    Oh I had to read just b/c of the FB intro! I've so been dragging these winter months and haven't even wanted to get out for a run. I also keep trying to get myself back on the forums to see how the other Up & Runners are handling this weather. Thanks for the post Shuana. Keep up the motivation =)
  3. MarciG
    But, Shauna, when it's dark, you can pretend you're faster! Ninja fast :)