Winter Impact: Exercise Motivation Decreases by Up to 33%

Survey Reveals 20% of Adults Reduce Exercise by Up to 37% in Winter Months.

A study involving 2,000 adults found that exercise frequency, typically four times weekly in summer, declines in winter. The decrease averages 31% during this season, the lowest activity level reported annually. Primary reasons cited for reduced physical activity include colder temperatures (72%) and shorter daylight hours (57%).

The survey revealed that 49% of respondents struggle more with getting out of bed during winter, 27% express concerns about safety when exercising alone in darkness, and 24% report having less energy.

Interestingly, spring and autumn emerged as the preferred seasons for fitness, with 49% desiring to sustain their health-focused mindset from these warmer months throughout the cold, dark winters.

Over a third of people adopt a healthier lifestyle in summer instead of winter. This trend is often attributed to winter’s challenging conditions, which can disrupt exercise routines and alter eating habits. Darkness, cold, stress, and fatigue significantly influence decision-making during these months.

Nearly one in five people enter a ‘hibernation mode’ in winter, losing motivation to stick to their usual routines, often due to obstacles such as inclement weather and holiday disruptions.

Understanding the influence of internal and external factors on your decisions is crucial as a first step towards making informed choices. This awareness can help you maintain motivation throughout the year. Additionally, it’s vital to plan for scenarios that might slow you from achieving your health goals, ensuring you’re prepared to stay on track even in challenging situations.

Why do People Prefer Working Out in The Summer?

People often prefer working out in summer due to the better weather and longer daylight hours, which make outdoor activities more appealing. The increase in sunlight boosts mood and energy levels, encouraging more physical activity. Summer also brings more social exercise opportunities, like group sports and fitness classes.

Many are motivated to stay fit for summer vacations or beach outings. The season allows for various activities, such as water sports and hiking. Lastly, the mental health benefits of being active in a pleasant, sunny environment can be a significant motivator.

How to Make The Most of Working Out in The Winter

Making the most of working out in winter involves adapting your routine to the colder conditions and finding ways to stay motivated. Here are some tips:

Dress Appropriately: Wear layers that you can remove as you warm up. Ensure your outer layer is wind and water-resistant. Remember gloves, a hat, and warm socks.

Warm-Up Indoors: Start your workout with a warm-up inside to increase your body temperature. This can prevent injuries and make stepping out into the cold more bearable.

Embrace Indoor Workouts: Utilize indoor gyms, attend fitness classes, or follow home workout videos. This can be a great time to try indoor activities like yoga, pilates, or spinning.

Set Specific Goals: Clear fitness goals can keep you motivated during winter. Whether building strength, improving endurance, or preparing for a spring event, a target can keep you focused.

Find a Workout Buddy or Group: Exercising with others can increase your commitment and make workouts more enjoyable, especially on cold, dark days.

Take Advantage of Daylight: Whenever possible, exercise during daylight hours to benefit from natural light, which can boost your mood and energy levels.

Stay Hydrated: It’s just as important in winter as in summer, even if you don’t feel as thirsty.

Indulge in Winter Sports: If you live in an area with snow, try skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. These can be fun and effective workouts.

Monitor Weather Conditions: Be mindful of icy paths or extreme cold, and adjust your workout for safety.

Stay Consistent: Try to maintain a regular workout schedule. Consistency is key to maintaining fitness and mental health during the winter months.


The impact of winter on exercise motivation is significant, with decreases of up to 33% reported. This decline can be accredited to various factors such as colder temperatures, reduced daylight, and potentially lower mood and energy levels.

Individuals can effectively combat this seasonal decline in motivation by adapting exercise routines to indoor settings, setting specific goals, and using appropriate clothing and safety measures. Embracing winter-specific activities and maintaining a consistent workout schedule are vital strategies for staying active and motivated during the colder months.

Understanding and planning for the challenges of winter can help maintain a consistent and enjoyable fitness routine year-round.