Here are 10 of our favourite ways to increase and maintain your motivation to exercise even if It's cold outside, work makes you feel exhausted and lethargic, or the gyms are closed. Staying in bed under the covers can easily become the default option for even the most athletic people. At this time of year especially, external conditions can often make it difficult to keep pace with your health, fitness and nutrition goals. While you can take a break to enjoy the season, a little bit of motivation to stick to it when times get tough can go a long way towards feeling energized, fit, and achieving your long-term goals.

Favourite quote

Quotes can help you feel strong and ready to face the world. Take a screenshot of your quote or even one you see on social media that really hits the nail on the head. Repeat a favourite quote before heading to a training session or write it down and put it somewhere prominent at home.

Reason for training

Isolating what motivates you and your reasons for training in the first place can inspire you to push on when the going gets tough. Are you doing this to improve your cholesterol levels? Build Muscle? Lose weight? Help a charity? Whatever it is, keep it at the forefront of your mind to stay motivated.

Make a plan

Goals can often feel lofty and unattainable at times, so take the time to write down each of your goals and have a plan to achieve them. This will show you what work you need to put in to be successful. Having a plan can motivate you by letting you hit smaller milestones while working towards larger, long-term goals.

Race simulation

Nothing gets you motivated more than race preparation. When you're not racing, it can be hard to feel the same excitement and motivation to train. The good news is that you don't need to sign up for a race to get the benefits - just fake it. Lace up your racing shoes, put on your kit, practice your nutrition on race day or do pre-race training.

Download a podcast

Listening to a podcast related to your sport, goals, or targets can keep you mentally engaged and motivated. Choose a series that is led by experts and helps you learn more about improving your technique. Or choose a series where they'll talk to other athletes and experts about their journeys and experiences. You'll be able to relate to their success or hardship stories and feel like you're not alone, which can often be the source of people losing their motivation.

Turn up the music

Try adding a few fast, energetic songs to your playlist. Choosing songs that motivate you, give you energy and make you feel good can be a great way to improve your mood and motivation to complete your workout. Just search your music app for "workout" or "cardio" to see what others like.

Set an alarm

For some, motivation requires constant reminders. Don't sit and wait for the motivation to strike, but rather make it happen. Set a daily alarm to lace up your trainers and do some basic work, even if it’s just to check your training goals to keep you focussed on your targets.

Play to your strengths

Motivation can drop when you feel constantly fatigued from hard training, especially when your results show no increase in speed, power, or mileage. Get out there and do your favourite workouts where you know you're capable and make you feel good. It could be track work, sprints, squats, gym classes ... anything. Succeeding in one thing will make you feel ready to take on these tough workouts when you have a little success under your belt.

Connect with others

Join a Facebook group or other chat forum with other athletes with the same sports interests. Being able to discuss issues, races, gear, routes, technique and more with others will make you feel more involved. Giving advice or support to others can also improve your well-being and self-worth.

Try something new

When progress seems to have stopped or is not going well, finding success in other areas can present a unique challenge to motivate your training. Play sports you don't know, try out fitness classes or home workout videos you wanted to test.

All that matter is that you channel the positive energy you feel into progress, and any negative emotions or feeling of fatigue, you recognise and deal with them before they become a major issue and stop you achieving your goals. NOW GET OUT THERE AND TRAIN!