1.30.2014

Finding motivation to work out when it's frikkin' freezing

Believe me, I get it... It's hard to find the motivation to go to the gym when it's 10 below and one deep breath outside makes you feel like your nose hairs and lungs are frozen. But, if you want to meet your fitness goals in 2014 (here are mine) you don't have a moment to lose. I know for me, one unplanned day off from the gym is the beginning of a slippery slope to a week off... 

Here are some tips to stay motivated to hit the gym during the winter months: 
  • Don't sit down! I usually go to the gym after work. First, I stop home to do a quick clothing change and then I hightail it out of there to try and make the 6 o'clock class. The key is to not sit down or get too comfortable, otherwise that one minute of relaxation on the couch turns into hours of watching the Real Housewives while dipping pretzels into a jar of nutella.... wait... is that just me?
  • Set out your workout gear in advance. Have everything ready to go when you get home or if you're one of those psychos that works out before dawn, set out your stuff the night before. You're less likely to be mulling around trying to find that sports bra or fresh pair of socks if you get it all ready to go in advance. Or even better, go straight to the gym from work and have your stuff packed in your car.
  • Dress appropriately. Maybe your gym has heat... you lucky duck, you. Mine doesn't. So that means I need to layer appropriately. Usually I start with three shirts and two pairs of pants that slowly but surely get stripped down as I go through the workout. 
  • Set your gym schedule in advance. Know which days you're going to work out for the week and put them in your calendar. This way you can plan other activities (grocery shopping, happy hour, etc.) around your workout schedule.
  • No excuses, play like a champion. I'll be honest, sometimes there's a little dusting of snow on the ground and I'm all like, "I can't possibly go to the gym now, it's a blizzard out there -- far too unsafe!" But really, that's just an excuse. Whether you're not feeling 100 percent healthy or the weather is not cooperating, don't allow yourself to make silly excuses. However, if weather is truly a factor, or you're actually sick, it might be the safe bet to stay home, but you should still do something physically active at home. Yoga, a home wod (pushups, air squats and situps), zumba, sex, whatever... just because you're stuck inside doesn't mean that you can't get in a little heavy breathing!
  • Make your gym your second home. This is a little trickier and takes some more time, but basically if you immerse yourself in the culture of the gym and get to know the people there, you'll probably feel more motivated to go. This means that you have to take off your headphones every once in a while, talk to people, put yourself out there and attend a social event being hosted by the gym. Not all gyms are built equal in this category, so if the community aspect is really important to you, it may take some shopping around. Most CrossFit gyms have a great community or family atmosphere, and even some traditional smaller/family-owned gyms are the same way. Cue the shameless plug: if you're in the Philadelphia/Manayunk area, I highly recommend CrossFit Manayunk or CrossFit 2 St because, well, they are the best. 
And just to prove that I practice what I preach, here's a little clip of my workout from yesterday (Four hang power cleans and three burpees, every minute on the minute for 22 minutes!) 

You'll notice the pile of clothes on the rig... I'm like an onion, I have layers. 

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