After daylight savings time hit us last week, darkness has been settling in much earlier in the evening. It may be dark when you leave work and perhaps even when you wake up. While it might have been easy to hit the pavement for a great run after work during the summer months, the motivation to get in an after-work run easily wanes when it feels like nightfall has already come before you step out the door.
Sometimes it feels impossible to fit in a run with darker mornings and nights impeding your progress. But not to fret! There are some creative ways to fit in a run that we encourage you to try – and who knows, perhaps it will become your go-to workout.
- Download BeatBurn or the 5KRunner app to guide you through a treadmill workout. Many apps out there make it feel like you have your very own running coach in your ear to motivate you through that treadmill run you’re dreading. Treadmills aren’t always bad – believe us, you can get a great, enjoyable workout on the treadmill! But if you need a little motivation, these apps are your friend. You can choose runs by mile, by type (sprinting vs. hills), or by time, and a running coach will lead you through with encouragement and great beats.
- Run at lunch. Take advantage of the sunlight and head out of work at lunch for a quick jog. Pack your lunch for the day so you can come back and eat it at your desk if your time is limited. This technique works best if you have a shower at work or have a gym nearby at which you can utilize their facilities.
- Break your run into shorter runs throughout the day. Instead of fitting in a four-miler, fit in a 2-miler when you wake up and another right after work. Not only are you taking advantage of daylight with this routine, but you might even get a better workout; because you are less tired on each run, you are less prone to injury.
- Try a different workout. While running might be your thing, winter is a great time to try diverse types of exercise that you might end up loving. Head indoors to a local spinning class, swim aerobics, weight-lifting, or another class of your choice. Who knows, you might love it!
- Find a running club or buddy. Search for a few individuals – or a local running club – that has similar winter running goals as you, and commit to joining their team. Having a friend (or many friends!) to head out on colder, darker runs with you isn’t just safer, it’s also much more motivating.
- Brave the great outdoors. Yes, it’s darker and colder. But with some extra layers (always bring a hat, gloves, and layer on an extra long sleeve) and some light-up workout gear (light-up arm and ankle bands, or glowing gloves, are inexpensive and do the trick), you can head out for a winter run safely and enjoyably. If you want to be extra cautious, turn on the Find my Friends app on your phone and alert a friend that you’ll be running so they can track your whereabouts. Breathe in deep the cold, refreshing air, and enjoy the great outdoors the way humans were meant to!
Even though the days are colder and darker, fitting in a good workout isn’t impossible – and getting creative can spice up your routine to ensure it never gets stale!
How do you prefer to work out in the winter? Do you brave the elements? Let us know your best winter exercise tips in the comments below!