Your alarm goes off. It’s dark, it’s early, it’s cold. You see your running shoes waiting to be laced up. You can hear the wind rattling the windows and can feel a cool draft blowing under the door. You hit snooze. Eight minutes later you hit snooze again. You’ll just go for a shorter run today. The last time your alarm goes off you think, “nah, I’ll just wait until after work when it’s a little warmer outside.” After work arrives and you’re tired, hungry, and forgot to pack your workout clothes. “Tomorrow,” you say, “I’ll get to it tomorrow.”
There is no denying it, winter is around the corner, and you know what that means, right? A change in seasons brings about an opportunity to mix up your workout routine! Instead of dreading the frigid temps that seem to stick around longer and longer each passing year, use this transition to re-charge and refocus your fitness intentions.
The most successful workout routines are adaptable. If you love running outdoors but can’t tolerate temperatures below freezing, what will you do come December? Would you consider using a treadmill or finding an indoor track to keep up with your mileage? If you enjoy biking on the trails when the weather is warm, are you willing to find a spin class or get an indoor trainer so you can ride in the comfort of your home, while catching up on your favorite Netflix series? Are you willing to leave your exercise comfort zone and try something entirely different, like Zumba, Pilates, or POUND fitness?
Even the best intentions and most detailed plans can be difficult to stick with. As the holidays approach, time and energy for exercise can be difficult to find. It can be so easy, too easy in fact, to talk ourselves out of our best intentions. One missed workout usually leads to several missed workouts, which makes it more and more difficult to get motivated and stay in shape.
Unless of course you had someone who was counting on you to show up. Partnering with a friend, family member, or significant other can make a huge difference in motivation and this is the best time of year to find someone to keep you active. They keep you going, you keep them going, it’s as easy as that.
There are a few different ways to go about finding the perfect workout partner. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Look for someone with similar goals and interests. You could train for a road race or join a fitness club and try group exercise classes together.
- Try to connect with someone of a similar fitness level. You don’t have to be exactly on par with one another but it’s easiest if your fitness levels are at least comparable.
- Figure out a way for each person to take the other to the next level. Maybe you run faster but your workout partner puts more miles in each day. See what happens when you push each other to the next level.
- Seek a partner who has a similar schedule so you can find at least two days a week to meet up. The days you don’t workout together, send a text to see if your partner has completed his or her workout.
- Make it a friendly competition! Who can do the most push-ups, run stairs the fastest, or can hold a perfect plank the longest?
- Take turns planning the workouts. Doing the same routine day after day not only gets boring but can cause you to plateau and therefore see fewer results.
In addition to staying motivated, time goes faster when you have someone to talk to and you’re more likely to give it your all if someone is cheering you on. It’s so much more fun to celebrate milestones and accomplishments when someone else knows the sweat you put forth to get positive results.
If you have someone waiting for you early in the morning, are you likely to keep hitting the snooze button? Probably not. Hold yourself accountable to your fitness goals this winter and help someone else achieve theirs. Results happen when we work together!
Photos by Dylan Huey of Huey Photography. Click here to check out his website!