Getting Yourself to the Gym in the Winter

In Rochester, we all know the feeling of waking up to -10 degree weather and a wind chill that makes it feel twenty degrees colder.  We also all know that gym is hell on Earth in the dead of January.  The last thing we want to do is get out of our warm beds and head to the gym before our 10:25am class, but it’s really the best thing to do for our bodies.  Chances are that if you get out of your routine, you’ll fall into a bad habit.

Here are some of my tips for staying healthy during the (bitter) winter:

1.     Make a schedule: getting into a routine is the best way to get yourself to the gym.  Look at your class schedule and make time for physical activity.  My classes allow for me to go on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  Pick days that work for you and stick to it!  Also, don’t worry about missing a day.  It happens and sometimes we can’t control our busy lives.

2.     Bring a friend: when your alarm goes off at 9am for gym time, it’s always better to know that you have someone else to motivate you to hit the gym.  You don’t want to let your best friend down.

3.     Think about the long-term benefits: every time I start dreading the gym, I think about how my body will feel after I go.  Sure, the gym may be the worst sixty minutes of my day, but it’s only sixty minutes and I know that if I don’t go I will feel horrible. 

4.     Make an amazing playlist: whenever I feel myself losing motivation to get on the elliptical I mix up my workout playlist.  Recently I discovered the Beats Music app, which creates playlists for you based on what you’re doing and the genres you’re interested in.  I’ve been listening to amazing music and my gym time has been going by super fast.

5.     Put your gym clothes out the night before: this is my life-saving tip.  If I can just wake up and know that all of my clothes and sneakers are waiting for me, it makes the morning process that much easier and gets me to the gym faster.

6.     Buy a workout video: investing some money on iTunes for a Jillian Michaels workout DVD was the best $9 I’ve ever spent.  I can work hard for thirty minutes right in the comfort of my dorm room.  Workout complete.