Winter – with it’s cold, dark and gloomy features – can be quite the de-motivator, so it’s even more important to stay motivated this month. I think one of the best ways to stay motivated is by overcoming excuses and just not make them. Do whatever is in your power to not make excuses. And I’m here to help!

This Heart Health month, we’re going to focus on taking care of our hearts. While many of us are shoveling snow, we don’t realize the exertion of such activities on our hearts. (Source) So, I’ve got five exercises to keep our hearts strong this winter, along with a few tips to help you stay motivated to the end of the season.

Exercise

Here are good exercises for a full body workout that gets the heart going. Do each exercise for one minute. Repeat the entire circuit for a 20-minute cardio workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping!Mobility drill – Walk outs

Start with your feet hip distance apart. Hinge at your hips and place your hands on the floor just in front of your feet. Walk your hands forward until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Walk your hands back into the starting position. Stand and repeat.

Mobility drill – Walk outs
Mobility drill

Upper body – Modified push up

Start in a modified plank position with your arms straight, and your shoulders above your wrists, resting your knees on the ground. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower your chest towards the floor keeping your elbows tight to your sides. Push up and repeat.

Upper body – Modified push up
Modified push up

Lower body – Lateral Lunge

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, step your right leg to the right side, keeping your toes and your knee pointed in the same direction, lowering into a lateral lunge. Bring your right leg back to the starting position. Now repeat on the left side.

Lower body – Lateral Lunge
Lateral Lunge

Core – High Plank Shoulder Tap

Start in a high plank position. Bring your left hand to your right shoulder keeping your hips square without rotating. Bring your left hand back to the starting position and repeat tapping your opposite hand to the other shoulder.

Core – High Plank Shoulder Tap
High Plank Shoulder Tap

Cardio burst – Touch downs

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands in front of chest. Staying low, jump your feet out to a sumo squat position, tapping your right hand to the floor and lifting your left arm behind you. Jump into starting position and repeat.

Cardio burst – Touch downs
Cardio burst

The best part of this cardio circuit is that it uses your own body weight, so you can do it anywhere, at the gym or in the comfort of your home. It gets the blood pumping and releases endorphins that’ll keep you feeling great and especially satisfied upon completion.

Dress the part

There’s no such thing as bad weather just bad wardrobe choices. When you’re in the right gear, you’re set up for success by dressing your body properly. Am I right, COLD-FXers? So wear layers so you can adjust accordingly to your indoor and outdoor temperatures and always check the weather report so you’re prepared for the day.

Leverage the daylight

Since our daylight hours are shorter, some of my fitness clients tend to shift their bedtimes to later, because their schedules are busy with friends and parties. Instead, I encourage them (and you!) to make the most of our daylight hours by adjusting your bedtime. Adjust your nighttime routines to shorten up your nights and go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to get the most of our daylight hours.

Preparation is key

With seasonal changes, you can maximize daylight hours by switching your workouts to before work rather than after work. Ensure you meal prep on Sunday and pack the gym bag, too, so you’re truly prepared. My mornings start pretty early, so I ensure I have my COLD-FX® on my dresser as I take a Chewable every morning and then it goes in my bag to take while I’m on the go. To me, it’s about prevention – health and wellness precaution and injury prevention – and COLD-FX® Chewables help with that every morning.

Accountability

Whether it’s a coach or group fitness classes or bootcamp, or a friend, family member or workout buddy, they can hold you accountable to ensure you’re sticking to your fitness routine. Things like the 30-day fitness challenge can make it easier to commit to the program you’re doing, as it holds you to a goal. Having a goal in mind will help you get through these winter months. It’s also okay to make seasonal adjustments to your workouts like choosing an outdoor run in summer and more mental workouts like meditation or yoga during the winter. Break down these winter months with 30-day challenges and before you know it, it’ll be spring or summer.

Technology

Technology can be your friend this winter, with the Philips Wake Up Light, that emulates the sunrise for 20 minutes to pull you gently out of sleep rather than an abrupt wake up. (Source) Or, use your phone’s bedtime clock to setup a bedtime so you know when to wind down for the night, by cutting screen time and reducing blue light which messes up your sleep’s circadian rhythm. (Source) Fitness apps, like the Nike Plus Training Club, can help with workouts to do at home or the gym.

Do what you have to do to keep up this healthy lifestyle.

Remember, a little bit adds up so start now!