Overcoming the winter slump

Cold weather saps energy to stay active


Danny Shope

Winter is one of the hardest times to find motivation, with dreary weather and short days. When it comes to exercise, it’s easy to convince yourself to hibernate in your house for the entire season and avoid venturing outside unless it’s absolutely necessary. Embracing the Minnesota weather, however, is important for physical and mental health. Winter is a great time to spend time inside and recharge, but it’s equally important to stay active during the cold months of the year.

It can be hard to find active things to do during the winter, and even harder to find people to do them with you. Joining sports teams or clubs during the winter is a good way to get around that. It can help you hold yourself accountable to exercising regularly. Most of all, though, braving the elements with other people is much more fun than exercising alone.

For me, the key to being active is finding things I enjoy doing. As much as I would love to be a runner in the winter to stay in shape, it’s hard to stick with it when I simply don’t like running in the cold. It’s much more effective to find fun activities. Whether it’s going cross country skiing or having snowball fights with my friends, staying active by doing things I love is a more effective and more enjoyable way to stay fit. 

There are also a lot of ways to be active during the winter which don’t involve being out in the cold at all. Playing sports such as basketball, tennis or ping pong indoors is a good option if you have access to the right facilities. Lifting weights, practicing yoga and running on a treadmill can also provide an outlet for exercise.

It seems like the cold months take away all of our motivation to be active, and they force us to find new ways to exercise. Trying as many things as possible, though, is a great way to figure out what works best. Whether it’s joining a new sports team or committing to go on walks a few times a week, the winter is a lot less lonely and repetitive when we have activities to do and people to do them with.