Health

How to stay motivated in the gym this winter

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Young woman sitting in a gym tying her shoelaces

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Let’s face it: winter workouts get repetitive. With less access to the outdoors, hitting the gym becomes routine and redundant. While some people are brave enough to face the harsh cold on their morning run, the majority stick to the indoors to get their daily exercise. If you’re afraid of the cold or aren’t lucky enough to live near a mountain to partake in winter sports, here are a few ways to stay motivated in the gym this winter!

Get New Gear

The best way to begin any new exercise regime is by purchasing brand new gear. It’s a psychological trick that helps you stay enthused for the upcoming season, considering you’ll not only want to work off your investment, you’ll look fresh doing it. If you’re lacking in cold-weather layers or your running tights have seen better days, consider picking up a couple new pieces. Need new shoes? This is the time to pick up a new pair.

Set Goals

Staying motivated in the gym is always easier if you’ve got a few goals in mind. Take stock of your wants and needs before jumping into a new workout schedule. Start with an overall goal, one you can accomplish by the end of the season. Then break it down into smaller tasks, like managing one pull-up. Want to lose a few pounds before family pictures during the holidays? Start by setting a weight goal for November. Training to run a marathon in the spring? Work up to thirteen (or seven if you’re training for a half) consecutive miles by January. Want to define your leg muscles by taking up weightlifting? Start by mastering the proper positions and movements. Everyone is unique and your goals should match your personal desires. But remember to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Find A Buddy

Working out with a partner is always more motivating than flying solo. While the companionship makes exercising way more fun, having a friend around will also help keep you accountable. Set goals together and work towards them. It’ll be twice as exciting once you meet them, plus it’ll give you another reason to go out and celebrate.

Use Apps

There are thousands of workout apps available, so it’s up to you to find the one that meshes with your goals. Apps are wonderful external motivators, but they also help the process by storing information about previous workouts. That way, you can reference your accomplishments and build on them. Popular apps include Couch to 5K, Fitnet, StrongLifts 5×5, and Strava.

Create Your Perfect Playlist

Music is the easiest tool to use in the gym. Create a playlist that keeps you energized and focused. You can even trick your brain into workout mode by only listening to the playlist while exercising. The best part is, when you find your music getting a bit stale, it’s so easy to mix it up. In the same way wearing new workout clothes makes you feel refreshed, having a brand new playlist will give you that bright spark of renewed energy on a cold, wintery day.

Mandy Burkholder is a travel, adventure, and outdoor writer who honed her craft in the foothills of the La Plata Mountains of Southwest Colorado. After a stint in the Swiss Alps, she now resides in Tennessee. Follow her on twitter — @mandyburkhold3r