It’s only natural to want to hibernate until spring, but there’s really no excuse for not staying active during the winter months when there are so many ways to work out so you will be fit instead of fat when the spring rolls around. Here are a few ways to stay motivated even when the temperature plunges.

Schedule It on Your Calendar

We write down important things on our calendars, such as doctor’s appointments. Set aside 30 minutes every day for working out and treat it as seriously as a trip to the doctor.

Timetable Your Week of Activities

The current recommendations are 30 minutes of activity per day. They can be cardio, which burns fat, or strength training. Strength training should be done 2 to 3 days apart in order to help the muscles heal after a session. Plan out which days you will do which.

Try Winter Related Activities

There are many winter workouts you can enjoy, including:

  • Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Ice skating

In most cases, you will still be able to go out for a walk or a hike in nature. Plan a route around the neighborhood that is close to home in case you have to hurry indoors to get warm.

You can also walk in a mall (leave the credit cards home!) or a well-lit covered parking lot.

Try the YMCA

Many Ys have a pool, which gives a great whole body workout and can be done by anyone at any age. If you can’t swim laps, don’t worry. Many Ys have “water walking” and water aerobics as well.

Most Ys also offer a range of classes. Try aerobics, spinning, Zumba, and more. Intimidated by the weights room? Ask for a tour and introductory lesson. It’s free, and your instructor can give you some good individualized workout tips.

Hire a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer may sound expensive, but they can be worth their weight in gold if they come up with a workout plan you enjoy and which gets real results without you getting injured. You will share your goals with them and they will hold you accountable. They will often offer package deals, which will bring down the price. And chances are you will be more motivated because you want to get your money’s worth.

Find a Workout Buddy

They can be in addition to the personal trainer or a substitute for them if they are the type of person who will hold you accountable. Ask around to see if anyone in your area or at work wants to get fit. Set your goals and start taking walks at lunchtime, share tips on how to stay focused, and more.

Try New Things

There are many workout DVDs that can give you real variety. From yoga to the Brazilian butt workout to belly dancing, they are all designed to get you up and moving.

Work Out with The Family

If you’re like most families, you are probably spending too much time indoors in front of a screen. Try a hike, touch football or just a 30-minute walk when the sun is shining.