You wouldn’t know it if you looked at me, but I’m definitely your quintessential gym rat. I may not have bulging biceps, carry around a giant milk jug filled with protein powder or grunt when I lift weights, but I am most certainly as close to a gym rat a woman can be. As I mentioned in last week’s post, other than the kitchen, it’s sort of my happy place.
So, it’s not surprising that most cold winter days, you can find me warming up at the gym with one of my circuit workouts. Over the years, I feel like I’ve perfected the art of getting myself to the gym whether it’s below zero or blizzard conditions. Some people complain that the gym bores them, so that’s why I use a few tricks to ensure that I’m never bored at the gym during those frigid, snowy winter months where exercising outside just isn’t an option.
(I’m freezing my a** off…he’s getting exercise. Lucky dog.)
5 Sometimes Healthy Ways to Beat Winter Gym Boredom Blues
1. Plan Your Entertainment: Sometimes all you need to make the time go by at the gym is some simple entertainment. For some, that may mean a good trashy magazine and a date with the elliptical machine. When I go to the gym, I like to read one of my favorite healthy living magazines, such as SELF and Shape, while I’m on the elliptical. I’ve also been known to schedule my workouts during primetime tv shows. Biggest Loser is a GREAT motivator for running ya’ll. It’s like having a trainer in your ear for free! Finally, if your gym has internet, bring your hand-dandy iPad and catch up on your favorite healthy living blogs (especially mine!). If it’s fast internet, you can catch up on your Netflix/Hulu shows OR, you can download a couple shows to your iPad through iTunes. While this does cost money, you can ask for an iTunes giftcard as a holiday gift or stocking stuffer!
(Food Network Magazine and The Voice are great gym time entertainment)
Currently, I’m barreling my way through Parenthood on the ol’ iPad on the stairmill. I’m glad that I sweat so much on that machine because then people do not notice the buckets of tears that usually fall from me during every single episode.
2. Explore New Classes: I am extremely picky about my workout classes. Time is precious, and nothing drives me crazier than wasting 60 minutes of my life in a bad workout class. When I’m seeking a change-up in my workout routine, I look first to any kickboxing-type classes at my gym, since I’m a huge fan of these intense cardio workouts. My next go-to is spinning, but I definitely do a bit of research to find out the best instructors.
(Stiletto Bootcamp: One of the many interesting workout classes I attempted when living in NYC)
Another great resource for finding fun, new fitness classes is Groupon. You’ll find great deals for fitness classes and even guest passes to other gyms. Sometimes, a change of scenery for a few days (such as a $25 5-day guest pass) is all you need to reignite your workouts! Here are a few classes I’m hoping to try over the next few months:
- Kettlebell Kickboxing (Combining two of my favorite workouts…why not?)
- SoulCycle (Cannot believe I STILL haven’t tried it)
- SurfSet Classes (Indoor surfing as a workout?! Will get me one step closer towards my goal of actually surfing)
- CrossFit (I have yet to try it out…can you believe that?)
- Indoor Rowing Classes (I’ve mentioned my love of rowing on the blog before…would love to learn from professionals and get motivation from the class setting)
3. Buddy Up: I actually enjoy working out on my own, because it allows me to set the pace and intensity of my workout without having to worry about anyone else. It’s also my “me” time. However, when you find a person that enjoys the same workouts that you do and uses the same (or even more!) intensity, this can definitely help get your butt out of bed on those ridiculously cold winter mornings. For me, that buddy is Becca, who I wrote about in my last post. We both like lots of cardio but hate to skimp on weight training, so circuit training is usually our go-to workout. Becca works out a bit harder than I do, so doing circuits with her motivates me and helps me up my game!
Also, if you’re shy about trying new classes or gyms, find a workout buddy to go on your gym explorations with you!
4. Mix up your Workouts: It is just way too easy to slip into a workout routine and do the same thing every day. My go-to workout after a long day at the office was 60 minutes on the elliptical and a few half-assed sit-ups. The problem with this routine, is, not only is it boring, but also, inevitably, you’ll eventually be burning less calories. As your body gets used to a movement or exercise, it becomes easier, you exert less energy doing it, and thus less calories are burned.
That’s why, in addition to 30-45 minutes of high intensity cardio, I round out my workout with a circuit bootcamp-style workout, which I either grab from Pinterest or create myself (and then share with you!). I look for circuit workouts that are 15 to 30 minutes with an even distribution of both cardio and weight-lifting. Truth be told, I’ll never be a huge fan of lifting weights, so I need the cardio spurts to keep me interested!
Currently, my favorite workout of the moment is the Winter Wonderland Workout that I created a couple weeks ago. Between the kettlebell swings and the jump squats, I always wake up sore the next day!
5. Find a Reason to Stay Fit: Sometimes all you need is a bit of incentive or a goal to add a little pep in your step. In the past, I’ve actually signed up for winter races in warm climates to keep me motivated during countless treadmill runs. For example, Disney World has a lot of fun races during the winter months, including a “Wine and Dine” Half Marathon in November and the Princess Half Marathon in February. There are also a few winter races in the Nappa Valley, and I for one, am always looking for a great excuse to head to wine country!
If you don’t want to run a marathon, never fear. There are plenty of shorter races in warm climates! And, if you do end up training for one of these races, I strongly suggest, my Bad A** Treadmill Workout.
You should also check to see if your gym is holding a weight loss or fitness challenge. My good friend is participating in one of these right now, and she says that it has been a great way for her to stay accountable for her workouts!
Hope these tips have helped, but now, it’s your turn…
TELL ME: HOW DO YOU BEAT THE WINTER GYM BOREDOM BLUES?