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With cooler temperatures, and less sunlight, the motivation to lace up your shoes and run can be a challenge for some. This happened to me on a few occasions.

Instead, I skipped my workout and sat on the couch feeling unhappy with a bag of chips. I felt sorry for myself and needed to make a change to how I would exercise during this time of year.

Making a few adjustments to my running schedule was needed. To help psych myself up, I decided to run in the earlier part of the day for safety reasons and by dressing for the weather conditions my workouts were more enjoyable. Despite running during the colder months, it can be exhilarating and coming inside afterwards always feels a sense of accomplishment.

No matter how I feel that day, going for a run always makes me happy. I always think about the benefits of working out and it helps with my overall body and mind.

Christine Blanchette

Here are some other motivation tips to help get you started and stay on track.

The season can be a great time to set new goals and try some trail running or cross country. There is also snowshoeing which is a low impact activity and is fun for the whole family.

Set realistic goals that suit your fitness level and that will motivate you to run however many times a week.

Self-care — set a reward system in place. Having a cup of hot cocoa helps me.

As mentioned above, dress for the weather conditions by investing in wearing reflective gear, moisture wearing fabrics, a headlamp, a toque to keep your head warm and gloves. Invest in proper shoe wear according to the terrain you are training on.

Try different routes to help keep you motivated and experience a change of scenery. Mixing it up with a flat, longer, shorter and/or challenging routes also helps me with my performance.

Safety — carry ID, and tell someone or leave a note where you are going and how long you will be expected back. Watch for cars or traffic always.

Being accountable helps you stay on course with your program by running with others or telling your family/friends.

Stay hydrated and properly fuel your body. Listen to your body always.

Lastly, enjoy the journey.

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