If you want to stay active during the winter months, you may find it more challenging to stay on track than at other points in the year. In many parts of the country, it becomes more difficult to be outdoors during the coldest months. The idea of waking up early on cold mornings to work out can be seriously discouraging. Keep yourself engaged in your workout and avoid a winter workout rut with these eight techniques.

1. Set Big Goals

The winter months also bring the start of a new year, which is the perfect time to set big goals for yourself. Reorienting your goals can also help keep you from getting stuck in a rut. You might set a goal for some new activity you want to try, such as spinning or yoga. You might set a goal for a faster runtime or to bench more weight. Or you might set a specific weight loss goal. Working towards a clear and achievable goal will keep you motivated.

2. Try New Exercises

Anytime you feel stuck in a rut, you can get yourself out of it by trying a new exercise routine or technique. In the winter, as you may be spending more time exercising indoors, it is a great time to try something outside your normal hum-drum routine. A great way to stay engaged is to take a class, such as CrossFit. You could try Yoga or even Kettlebell training.

3. Get New Gear

One way to keep your winter work-out interesting is by getting some new gear. This can include new equipment, workout attire, or shoes. This can even be equipment you actually need to match the weather or some other new activity you plan to try. Often a great new outfit or piece of equipment can reignite your excitement to exercise.

4. Get New Music

Listening to music during a work-out is always a great idea. Research also finds that listening to music with 120 to 140 beats per minute helps to optimize your activity level. When you want to keep your winter work-out interesting, try setting up a new music playlist.

5. Find a Friend

Many people find that having a workout partner can be fun and motivating at any time of the year. It can also make your exercise safer if you are benching weights or doing another activity where you need a spotter. When you and a friend work together, it can help keep you both from feeling stuck in a rut.

6. Watch the Weather

Even though the gym will be your most ideal work-out location during the cold winter months, you are not entirely confined there. Every winter offers a few warmer days. Keep an eye on the weather and plan your exercise routine accordingly. If you see that one day will offer warmer temperatures, make that a day to get outside to enjoy the winter sunshine for a run or walk.

7. Embrace the Cold

Keep in mind you also do not have to avoid the cold weather entirely. There are tons of great activities that can only occur during the winter. You can try snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and even downhill skiing if you live in a part of the country with some slopes. Even sledding can be a great activity that will keep you racing back to the top of the hill and burning calories on the way.

8. Try a Trainer

Another great option during the winter months is to try working with a professional trainer. These exercise experts can help you identify fitness and health goals. They can also teach you new ways to work-out that will definitely keep you from getting stuck in a rut.

These 8 tips are ways to help keep you out of your winter workout rut. If you still feel like you’re having trouble shaking the winter blues, contact 3Strong today to receive expert advice on training!