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Cold temperatures and snow can discourage anyone from working out, even the most dedicated athletes. As winter arrives your fitness routine can get derailed, especially around the holidays. You may notice that in winter it is harder to keep the weight off. This is natural, but all the more reason to keep moving. Here are some tips for staying motivated to exercise this winter.

Give Some Thought to Your Clothing

It is important to have appropriate clothing even if you are working out in the gym. You still have to get from the car to the weight room. Staying warm will benefit your muscles and your attitude. Wearing layers is a great way to transition from outdoor to indoor workouts. Make sure the outer layer is well insulated and waterproof.

It is a good idea to set your fitness clothing out the night before so you see it as soon as you wake up. Or, repack your gym bag as soon as you get home. In addition to a workout outfit, make sure you have your membership card, water bottle, headphones, and a snack packed.

Stretch and Warm Up

In winter muscles can take a little extra time to become flexible and get moving. Try to spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching to warm up those muscles before you head outside for a run or hop on the elliptical. This will help to prevent muscle strains, cramps, and even more serious injuries. You can warm up indoors or outside.

Find a Workout Partner

A workout buddy can help motivate you and keep you accountable. Plus, exercising with a friend always seems to make the workout go faster. Make a point of checking in with your partner on a regular basis to make sure you are encouraging one another.

You might want to both set achievable goals, such as training for a springtime road race or dropping 10 pounds before bathing suit season. Share your goals and your progress with one another to stay motivated.

Take a Class

There is a lot to be said for taking a fitness class with a group of like-minded people to keep your head in the game. Winter is a great time to head to the gym and join a yoga, spin, or mat Pilates class.

Can’t find a good class that fits within your schedule? Invest in some exercise videos or find some YouTube workout videos. Public television stations often have 30 minute workouts that you can easily DVR and do when you have the time. Commit to watching and doing the routine at least once a week.