We’ve long suspected that winter was designed to derail all of our well intentioned fitness New Year’s resolutions. The days are shorter. The temperatures are colder. And your motivation, like the groundhog’s shadow, is hard to find.
To help kick back the winter slump, we asked readers like you to tell us what strategies keep them committed to the gym. Get some inspiration from these 40 cold-weather tips for staying fit and healthy all season long. (Plus: Update your fitness wardrobe for some inspiration! Try some of our Best Winter Workout Gear.)
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1. “I check into the gym on Foursquare on my way home from work. Once I do that, there's no getting out of it because I feel like I'd be lying to all my friends who saw my post on their Facebook newsfeed if I didn't follow through and actually go!” –Nicole J., Bedford, IN
2. “I use a routine that's simple and easy to start—either jogging from right outside my apartment or doing a straightforward routine at a gym that's very close by. That way, I have way fewer excuses for not getting started on a given day. I can't say ‘I have to take the subway to my gym and it’s so cold outside’ or ‘I’m here at the gym but the specific machine I always use is occupied.’” –Abe R., Oak Park, IL
3. “I like to use an online program to help chart my fitness, such as nikerunning.com or fitocracy.com.” –Adelyn Z., San Diego, CA
4. “Create a challenge. Make sure your goal is attainable, but more difficult than you think you will be able to accomplish. I wanted to run at least a mile a day for 40 days straight. As you’re going through your challenge, treat yourself to both mini-goals and mega rewards. After a long run, I would treat myself to a Jamba Juice smoothie and oatmeal. After the 40 days were done, I treated myself to a new running jacket and a tri-club membership.” – Sean K., Atlanta, GA
5. “Make your gym time correspond to the schedules of your gym “cuties.” Nothing like a hot boy to add a wee bit of motivation.” –Lucy C., Denver, CO
6. “Dress the part. Get cute workout clothes and be proud to wear them. They’ll also prevent injury in the case of good running shoes.” –Marina B., Schaumburg, IL
7. “I used to be an athlete and now work for a sports team, so it’s kind of a pride thing. I want to at least be as fit as some of the players.” –Haibo L., Lansdale, PA
8. “Try new workout classes at the gym. They usually have tons of new classes in January to bring in new members, so it’s a good opportunity to try something new and mix it up.” –Alice V., Wilmington, DE
9. “I mark my daily Outlook calendar with my workouts as if they were actual appointments. It helps me make sure I plan around them and don’t bail at the last minute.” –Jesse Y., Phoenix, AZ
10. “Invest in good wool socks.” – Benny C. Claremont, CA
11. “Fast tempo tunes! When Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad” comes up on my iPod, I know it’s time for business.” –Michelle C., Revere, MA
Find out the best songs to fire up your workout!