Follow these tips to stay motivated during every season.
The end of summer often signals a return to routine and, for exercisers who live in colder climates, taking workouts back inside. Many people reaffirm their commitment to fitness in the fall and winter, but if you’re not careful, it can be easy to slip into a winter slump. While it may be tempting to stay cozy at home, to reap the full benefits of an active lifestyle, you need to maintain your exercise habits year round.
Before you make any changes, the first thing you need to do is take a moment to reflect on the work you’ve done this year. Spending time thinking about what is driving you and why you do what you do is an important step to complete before committing to finding a new motivation, also tied to your drive.
As with any change in routine, it can be difficult to make new habits stick, but there are things you can do to keep your fitness momentum going. Take the following steps for a motivational boost that will keep you excited to work out as the seasons transition.
Here are six things that you can do to keep your fitness momentum going all year long:
1. Train for an event
Start training for an event that is several months away. There are a ton of fitness-focused events to choose from, including obstacle courses, 5K races, half or full marathons, bike races, triathlons, etc. It’s much easier to stay focused on fitness if you’re working towards a concrete goal. Depending on the type of event you’re planning to attend, you can find specific training plans that will take the guesswork out of your workouts.
2. Get a personal trainer
Sign up for a certain number of personal training sessions — if you don’t use them, they will go to waste! Your personal trainer can also help keep you accountable and motivate you to stick with your fitness plan. Working with a trainer takes the stress out of workout planning, and they can come up with new workouts that will keep you on your toes.
3. Join a competition
A bit of friendly competition can be a powerful motivating force, and may be just what you need to hit the gym each week. You can find competitions online or within your own gym or community. If you’re participating in a competition within the gym, you can even partner with other members to train.
4. Plan a trip
Fitness is about so much more than looking toned in a bathing suit, but for a lot of people, knowing that you’ll be showing some skin can provide motivation to stay active. Another option is to plan a trip or a weekend near home where you’ll be hiking, skiing, biking or another physical activity. You’ll want to adhere to your fitness plan throughout the winter so you’re ready when the time comes. Bonus points if your fitness-focused weekend involves a winter sport.
5. Start an exciting new training regimen
Choose a plan that spans several months and includes varied workouts to keep you engaged. By mixing up your workouts, you’ll get a well-rounded fitness experience and do something new and exciting every time you visit the gym. Also, an important part of any training plan is to set goals for yourself. Find a way to track your progress, whether that’s shaving time off your mile run, shredding pounds, or increasing the amount of weight you lift. Seeing yourself improve over time can be highly motivating!
6. Take a class
Find a group fitness class that you enjoy and commit to going every week. Having a scheduled workout can help you adhere to your desired routine because you can plan ahead. It’s easier to justify not going to the gym when you don’t have a workout planned than it is to skip a class that you have written down on your calendar. Participating in a group class also takes the prep effort out of planning a workout — just show up ready to sweat, and you may even make a new friend.
These are just a few ideas that you can try when summer ends, but the trick to keeping your momentum going is finding something that motivates you and gets you excited to work out. If you can make fitness a joy instead of a chore, sticking to a plan will come easy to you no matter the time of year.