When winter days are shorter and temps are lower, our bodies and minds tend to crave a slower pace. But there’s still work to be done and goals to get after, and while we encourage regular periods of rest and recovery time, we also encourage a healthy amount of workout motivation to keep going after your goals. To help conquer those winter blues, Peloton Yoga instructors Kristin McGee, Anna Greenberg and Aditi Shah share exactly what they do to stay inspired and successful during the winter season.
Consistency is Key
The first rule of slumps? Avoid creating one. “I’m all about consistent practice in order to progress, whether it’s with yoga, physical endeavors, honing a craft or deepening a relationship of any kind,” Anna says. One thing that helps her workout motivation is planning ahead for her week. “I try to look at my week before it happens and pre-register for the classes I want to take, schedule time I want to spend with friends or any other activities I know I want to do and not wait to do them until I feel like it because that may not happen,” explains Anna. “If it’s in the books it’s much more likely to get done!”
A daily reminder that helps Aditi keep going is not to compromise the long term for the short term. “I know that I can be flexible when life changes in order to keep pushing towards my goals,” she explains. Aditi also shares that she tries to frontload her day during the winter time to anticipate the feeling of being totally spent come nighttime. “This also gets me to bed earlier, so I wake up extra energized and I can go a little harder than before–it becomes a virtuous cycle from there.”
One of the first things that comes to mind for Kristin, Anna and Aditi when trying to keep that workout motivation is to keep moving. While this may sound counterintuitive, Aditi finds that moving her body always helps her to gain even more energy. One pose she loves to use is Supported Fish Pose. “It’s a restorative yoga posture, which means we relinquish any physical effort by using props to support the body,” explains Aditi. “Fish pose is a front body and chest opener which helps to counter our modern day posturing and the muscle fatigue we feel from hunching our shoulders from the cold.” She says that all you need is 5-10 minutes to feel like a million bucks.
Kristin’s go-tos are backbends. “These poses are super energizing and help to open the front body and increase oxygen to our lungs and other parts of the body. Clasp your hands behind your back and lengthen your arms down to the floor to open up your chest,” says Kristin. If you have extra time to roll out your mat, she recommends camel, cobra, upward dog, wheel pose or any standing poses which get the heart rate going and the blood flowing to increase your energy. “Try some warrior poses, triangle pose, and tree pose to boost your spirits–sun salutations are also super energizing and help link the mind and the body through the breath.”
Other Ways to Motivate
Don’t forget that there are other ways to get motivated to work out that don’t involve fitness. Anna likes to revitalize with a shower. “I know showering sounds a little silly, but it really hits the reset button,” she says. “I like to take a hot shower and end with a burst of cold (yes, cold) water.” Originally a tip from her mom, she notes that this has always been something to get her going and reenergize her day.
Another option to boost your energy is turning to your inward reserves. “Most people think meditation is for relaxation, but mental chatter can be draining and put us in a slump,” says Kristin. “Uplifting meditations can help clear the cobwebs and give us renewed energy.” Kristin also says that making physical connections with the ones you love can provide a boost of energy. “When I’m feeling blue I give my sons a hug and I feel so much better–and for added fun, sometimes we turn on the music and have a dance party!”
No matter the season, recovery is always key. Click here to learn why you need time to recharge.