Sign up for a class
If you need exercise motivation, signing up for a new class might do the trick. Have you been dying to try an aerial yoga workout, a TRX session, or that new HIT class you've heard about? Go for it! You'll meet new people, challenge yourself, stay active during the winter months, and develop new skills in the process. Before you go, read these suggestions for making the most out of your group fitness classes.
If you're finding it difficult to make it to the gym on a cold, dark day, try visualization to focus your mind on positive fitness goals and progress, instead of thinking about your flaws or engaging in harsh self-criticism. Take time to celebrate the wonderful body you have now, and envision your desired intentions for your winter workout—maybe you're easily zipping up a pair of jeans or crossing the finish line of your first 5K. Read this for more advice on staying positive.
Add some variety
Do you always go straight for the weights every time you hit the gym? Or maybe you always take a specific spin class. It's possible you're bored with your workout because you've been doing the same one for a while, or it's too easy for you. Experts recommend switching up your exercise routine every two weeks to maximize enjoyment and effectiveness. Here are more ways to make your workout less of a chore.
Work out with a trainer
"I can't thank my personal trainer enough," says exercise-enthusiast Sharokina Pazand. During the winter, Pazand and her husband workout together twice a week with a trainer. "It keeps the cost down while keeping the motivation and fun up!" she says. A personal trainer is a great way to break the monotony of your exercise routine with new, customized workouts for your fitness level and specific goals. If your budget doesn't allow for regular sessions, try meeting with a trainer monthly for new exercises and routines that will challenge you and keep things interesting. Check out these secrets gyms won't tell you.
Work out with a friend
You're much more likely stick to your winter workout if you schedule it with a friend ahead of time. When you make plans with someone else, you'll be less inclined to cancel because you know you'll be letting them down if you bail.
Make a fitness goal
Amanda Stephenson, an avid runner based in Chicago, says she likes to make fitness goals to keep her workouts on track during the winter. "In November I usually sign up for a 5k or 10k race in March, so that I know I need to keep a certain level of fitness going in January and February. Without those dates on the calendar, it becomes too easy to slip into the (seemingly) never-ending limbo of winter," says Stephenson.
Mix up your playlist
Because most of Stephenson's workouts revolve around running, the thing that helps her the most is finding new music to get her energized. She finds it very difficult to stay motivated if her playlist gets played out. (This is what your favorite music says about your personality.)
Invest in some workout clothes
Having new workout clothes that help you feel comfortable and confident can really make or break your exercise motivation. December and January are the best months to score some amazing deals on stylish fitness wear you'll be excited to show off.