Lifestyle Blog By Shauna Young

How I take on Fitness and a Healthy Lifestyle when Trapped Indoors

Friday, January 26, 2018

Ah January. The start of a new year, and minutes into 2018 I swear hundreds of diet and gym commercials start playing on tv.
The pressure to start working out and reach those fitness goals can be extremely overwhelming at this time of year. For myself, even being an active person, I really like to take December off and as soon as January rolls in, I automatically feel the need to jump right back into working out and eating right. In the summer and fall, I loved going out for runs, walks with my dog, and even doing workouts outside. Since I also eat a plant based diet, I rely heavily on fresh produce. Unfortunately the cold brisk months of winter have really just started. It’s definitely not easy to be motivated to get up and go workout when you’re in the deep freeze and would rather stay under the layers of warm blankets in your comfortable bed. Never mind going to the grocery store to find that the options for veggies and fruit are dwindling, leaving you with the same meal options all week (which heavily involves different types of oatmeal). Basically, the winter months really leave me wanting to hibernate. 

As great as it is to stay in and binge watch different tv shows (which btw one of my new favourites is Peaky Blinders comment below if you’ve started watching it too), reality is I know my body and it needs to be active, to have a schedule to follow, and of course eat healthier meals and snacks. The question is, how do we go about staying healthy, both physically and mentally, when the weather here in Canada has been colder than the North Pole? 

It’s been a minute since my last fitness post here on Belles Reveries. My last post really focused on the best tips I’ve learnt in my fitness journey. Since then, I’ve had my ups and downs. Healthy living is not linear, in fact it’s anything but. There are days when everything just seems to go right and my body feels strong and energized, and then there are days when my eating schedule is off and I don’t feel like working out. It’s easier in the summer to wake up, look outside, and see the sun shining to feel that “get up & go” attitude. What I’m hoping to achieve are ways to keep me feeling good while we wait for the snow to melt. 

Staying Fit when you just wanna Sit … 

Write Down your Goals! 

I know, this “advice” is nothing new, but it’s a classic for a reason. Writing down your goals makes them real and puts them out into the universe. I usually write mine down and leave them somewhere that I can see for those days when I don’t feel like moving off the couch. What you’re really creating is a contract with yourself. Having to see your goal(s) every day reminds you that what you do today will bring you closer to them. This goes for any goal you might have, but for fitness specifically, it’s important to remind yourself why you’re doing this. The reason behind working out can determine how long you end up being committed to it. Doing it to look great in the summer isn’t enough. You need a reason with substance. For me it was seeing fitness as not just a way to change how my body looks, but how my body feels afterwards (physically and mentally).

When coming up with a fitness related goal, I like having a two part goal. The first is what will stay consistent for the year, while the second will be changed each month. The first goal is what you are hoping to achieve this year. This one can be general, as it is an overall change. The second goal is what you hope to achieve in each month. These are the progression steps that will help you achieve your overall goal. It’s also important that these ones aren’t as general, but have specific requirements. Having these monthly goals are a great way to not only keep yourself in check, but can also be a great way to celebrate small achievements at the end of each month. For those of us that want to achieve life changing goals, it’s important to lay out baby steps so we don’t get lost or discouraged along the way.    

At Home Workouts are just as Effective 

I have never worked out a gym. The last time I was in a gym was back in college for physical education. Since then I have never owned a gym membership. I’ve always debated with the idea of going to a gym to workout, but I always end up back to the same issues. I am one of the few people who doesn’t have a drivers license, and to be honest there aren’t really any gyms that are very close to my house. I know that come the colder months, I will not want to leave my house. So my solution is to create a space that I can use as my own gym. I’ve picked up the necessary equipment that I use the most: 

Jump Rope 

Kettle Bell 

Free Weights
Resistance Bands
Medicine Ball 

Luckily, we live in a world where you can gain access to different types of workouts either from Youtube or Instagram. I’ve linked some of my favourite accounts that have workouts for every level and will definitely get you sweating and burning those muscles. 

Take Advantage of those Warmer Days 

I can probably count on my hands the nice days we’ve had in the past few weeks, so whenever the weather decides to play nice, I take advantage. Going outside for walks is honestly the best way to do some light cardio, while also getting some fresh air and vitamin D. At this time of year, my body craves this badly, so when the opportunity is there I will be spending as much time as I can outside. 

Seasonal Mood Change is a Thing… 

Yoga / Meditation 

I know we joke about being lazier in the winter, but seasonal mood changes are real. I feel myself getting trapped in these mood swings where I feel dull and lack the energy to do anything. This can also affect my mental health since not doing anything physically can leave me emotionally feeling lethargic which with time could lead to some really unhappy thoughts. It’s a cycle where you don’t have the energy to do anything, you don’t want to leave your warm house, but staying in and sitting on the couch is only making you feel worse. What’s really helped me in times like this is yoga and meditation. Yoga can be done anywhere and stretching your muscles can release all tension to ease your mood. I like to end some sessions with a meditation, just to centre my thoughts and let go of any negative emotions I might be latching onto. It’s really important to take some time to check in with yourself on a deeper level. We have a tendency to overwork ourselves and add expectations without realizing how the effects of stress can take a toll on your body. That’s why I’m carving out time in my schedule to take a step back from everything else and just be in the moment. 

Reality is, the cold isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so why do we continue to use it as an excuse to not take care of ourselves? Yes a true healthy lifestyle is all about finding your balance, but has the balance scale tipped too far over to the side that includes endless hours of Netflix and snacking on chips and cookies? I do think it’s fair to say that being fit and living a healthy lifestyle is harder in the winter, but not impossible. If you’re continuously wondering why you’re tired all the time, feeling sluggish, and overall in a blah mood, maybe it’s time to reflect about the choices you’re making. No this isn’t my best tips on how to achieve washboard abs or toned legs, this is about feeling better when the weather is trying to keep you down. 


What I'm Wearing:

Top: Lululemon (Similar Style Found Here!)
Leggings: Lululemon (Similar Style Found Here!)

No Affiliate Links were used in this post. 


  1. Very inspiring! Keep up the good work.

  2. Love the post! I am a huge fitness lover and staying healthy...the winter is always the worse to stay motivated in. It feels so rewarding when you do stick with your fitness goals even in tough, cold times. I love how you promoted Yoga in this post. Yoga is overlooked by many...it is so important for a nice full body workout and is such a nice mental workout as well.

    Keep up the great posts!!!! :-)

    1. I agree with you 100% !! It can be difficult but even just taking 30 minutes for yourself to workout can make a huge difference in your mood and well being. Yoga has been a huge help and I really want to keep it up this year because like you said it can be a great workout as well as some time to turn your brain off and relax.
      Thank you for your comment :)

  3. Yes, winter does make it harder to stay fit. I also find that grey skies and cold tend to make me feel really depressed. Cannot wait for warmer weather to hit again.
    Nice post, like the positivity of your approach.

    1. I hear you! I'm counting down the days to when the warmer weather is back.
      Thank you so much for your comment :)