The weather outside is frightful, but the gym is so delightful

By Liv Barry
Elm Staff Writer

Staying motivated during the winter months is a struggle, especially when it comes to staying active.

When the weather outside is dismal and all you want to do is burrow beneath your blankets and hibernate until the spring equinox, it can be a struggle to find the time and drive to stay healthy.

Not all hope is lost, however. There are plenty of methods to stay fit during the winter months that aren’t as arduous as you’d think.


Ballet-inspired workouts like barre and dance classes have seen a rise in popularity on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok over the past few months, appealing to a certain demographic of people who felt left out by traditional workout culture.

Media about ballet, like the 2010 film “Black Swan” and Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” have blown up on TikTok. Even the hyper-feminine workout gear that ballerinas don for classes — leg warmers, tights, ballet skirts — have been seen on social media influencers in recent months.

If you’re looking for a way to stay motivated during the winter months, choosing a form of exercise with a specific look and feel, like ballet, is a great way to keep yourself going.

While many barre classes are in-person, there are plenty of barre-inspired workout videos on YouTube where you can follow along with the instructor.

For those who aren’t willing to drop money on the ballerina look, or those who are prone to spending money on workout clothing only to not work out, dancing in general is also great exercise.

 30 minutes of dancing along to your favorite high-energy songs can help you get your exercise for the day without leaving the house, so queue up a playlist and start dancing.

Group Workouts

If you’re willing to leave the house to work out but struggle to stick to a specific exercise routine, being in a group or even with one friend can help you stay motivated during the winter time.

Exercising alone can be intimidating, especially if you’re a newcomer to the gym. Seeing the gym regulars deadlift hundreds of pounds while you stick close to the 20 lb barbells is discouraging. If you have a buddy alongside you, it’s far easier to ignore the other people in the gym.

Also, workout buddies can hold you accountable if you’re feeling too lazy to get out of bed and take a trip to the gym. Ultimately, you are both there to support each other.

Not everyone has friends who work out, though. If you’re a Washington College student and struggling to find a workout buddy, try Shorefit. Started by minority students in the SGA, Shorefit is a workout group that is meant to help students feel comfortable while in the gym.  

In-Bed Workouts

For those who have tried absolutely everything to stay motivated during the winter but to no avail, try searching for in-bed workouts.

TikTok and YouTube have an abundance of videos on low-impact workouts that can be done from not just the comfort of your own home, but the comfort of your own bed. By exercising in bed, you can wear whatever you want, move without the judgement of others, and stay out of the harsh winter weather. In-bed workouts are a win all around.

No matter what method you use to stay fit during the winter months, remember to rest and be gentle with yourself. Staying motivated any time during the ongoing pandemic can be exhausting, let alone during the winter. So don’t be too harsh on yourself if you skip a day or two.

Elm Archive Photo
Featured Photo Caption: : The winter season offers special challenges for people who want to stay in fit. Cold, dark mornings and early sunsets can hinder outdoor excercises like jogging and stunt motivation. But finding fun ways to work out, be it through dance or supportive group environments, can keep you sweating despite the frigid weather.

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