In a Workout Rut? 14 Ways to Motivate Yourself

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When we’re motivated by awesome weather and the possibility of donning a swimsuit, it’s not hard to make getting our sweat on a priority. Come fall though, when cozy sweaters and hearty casseroles beckon, our zeal for the treadmill begins to wane and we can find ourselves in a workout rut. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.

Research shows that Americans typically exercise more in the spring and summer and less in the fall and winter, according to a Gallup poll. Frequent exercise usually drops to its lowest point in December of each year and begins to improve again in January.

Exercise Helps Immunity

Aside from burning calories and stimulating feel-good endorphins, getting out of your workout rut and regularly working out is also shown to keep sniffles at bay. “Thirty minutes of regular exercise three to four times a week has been shown to raise immunity by raising levels of T cells, which are one of the body’s first defenses against infection,” Neil Schachter, MD, author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu, told WebMD.  That means getting a good workout could help you avoid that annual winter cold. If you find yourself pumping the breaks on pumping iron, here are 14 ways to re-motivate.

14 Tips To Break Out of Your Workout Rut

Dress for the occasion

Don’t feel like hitting the gym after work? Just putting on your workout gear could make all the difference. Bring your clothes and change at the end of the day. After the effort of dressing, you may find you’re more motivated to just do it.

Remember why you started

Flash back to that moment when you decided to make working out a priority. Maybe it was after noticing your pants were getting a little snug, or that you simply weren’t feeling amazing in your body. Recalling what got you sweating in the first place may be just what you need to pick up the running shoes again.

Try something new

Who wants to do the same workout over and over? Boredom can quickly lead to inactivity.  If you feel lackluster about your scheduled workout, consider trying something new. Class Pass allows you to try new classes at a discounted rate. Maybe it’s available in your city.

Enlist your Friends

Make it a workout hangout. Rather than dinner and cocktails, consider doing something active together like a hike. Having fun is the best way to burn calories and break the workout rut.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

“You can do it!” “You look amazing!” “I love you.” “You’re beautiful.” Rather than letting guilt fuel your workouts, put inspiration in the driver’s seat by surrounding yourself with good vibes. When we feel empowered, we’re more likely to engage in activities that promote wellbeing.

Push just a little further

Take on a challenging workout – the kick-your-ass class at your gym, a tough yoga teacher, a difficult run – and challenge yourself to go just a little further each time. As you reach your mini goals, the sweet taste of success will inspire you to keep going.

Find a Cheerleader

When someone is rooting you on, it’s hard not to go the distance. Consider buddying up with a workout partner and cheer for each other when the going gets tough. Not sure who to rope in? Hire a personal trainer or check out Crossfit, which has a culture of motivating through camaraderie.

Distract Yourself

Got a guilty media pleasure? Indulge in that TV show, audiobook or podcast while working up a sweat. When you’re happily engaged, you’re less likely to be watching the clock.

Put Healthy on Your Plate

When you eat nutritious, healthy foods, you’re more likely to want to keep that goodness going by taking care of your body away from the table. Rather than weight loss, make feeling awesome the goal. Consider pairing those healthy meals with classes that support mind/body well-being like yoga or tai chi.

Get the App

Need inspiration for switching up your workout routine? A quick app search could result in your own personalized workout regimen or treadmill coach. There are literally hundreds of workout apps available and most of them are free. Here are two of our favorites.

Make it Fun

Treadmill? Elliptical? Weight Machines? Boring. Why not put some pep in your step by taking on a workout you actually enjoy? Be that salsa lessons, rock climbing or even pole dancing there are plenty of ways to stay fit while pursuing something that’s also a joy to do.

Make it a Meetup

Eager to explore a new hiking trail?  Curious about trying Capoeira? There’s likely a meetup for that. Meet new people, expand your community, and get in a workout. Bam! Plus, once you make connections, you’re likely to continue showing up.

Trick Yourself

Not in the mood? Compromise by only committing to do half of your workout. Maybe that’s just the warm-up or 15 minutes of your regimen. Chances are when you finish with the first half, you’ll be up for completing the second. If not, you can still go home and celebrate for doing something.

Track It

What’s more motivating than looking at your calendar and seeing all the days you showed up for a workout? Give yourself a gold star on workout days and make it a game to get out of your workout rut. After accruing a pre-determined amount reward yourself with a little indulgence for your home.