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8 Ways to Avoid a Winter Workout Rut

Build a summer-ready body by staying motivated through the winter months.

5. Get a Workout Wingman

“Training with a buddy is one of the best ways to increase accountability,” says Durkin. Making the commitment to train with someone, whether it’s a friend or personal trainer, often forces a different, increased level of effort in your training. If you’re exercising with someone else, that means you’ll have to keep to more of a set schedule (no more putting off the gym until it’s so late you decide to bag it), you’ll be pushing each other to achieve more and you’ll probably have a much better time getting fit than you’d have alone. If this dynamic isn’t a part of your routine already, the winter is a great time to start exercising while being a bit more social than usual.

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6. Refresh Your Workout Playlists

It’s a new year and the weather sucks, so it’s time for some new music to get you going. Bear in mind that the best exercise music has been found to be between 120 and 140 beats per minute, and try to work out to some material you’re not that familiar with for a change.

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7. Overhaul Your Diet

It’s a very simple tip that applies any time of year, but winter is when most people stay in, warm up and eat rich foods and drink hearty beers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as Weck and Durkin put it (along with several other trainers), “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Keep that in mind, and also know that the good thing about being more active is that you’ll be more conscious of what you’re putting into your body since you won’t want to undo all of that hard work.

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8. Try Something Completely New

According to Durkin, there probably isn’t a better time of year to start doing some form of exercise that you’ve always avoided for one reason or another. Doing something new will force you to be fully engaged with the activity, helping you stay away from boredom that could lead you down the path of stagnation or backtracking. Whatever you haven’t tried yet but have always had some interest, whether it’s kettle bell training, yoga, CrossFit or something else, just get some good instruction and take this tough time of year and make it into a learning experience.

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