By Tina Haupert
I don't know about you, but I always struggle with sticking to my regular workout routine this time of year. The warm summer sun is long gone, but my New Year's motivation hasn't kicked in yet. It's almost as if I'm in no-man's-land in November and December. With the craziness of the holiday season, the last thing I have time for (or want to do) is exercise, but I know if I don't fit in some quality sweat sessions, I'll ring in the new year a few pounds heavier—and it's tough to feel festive when my pants are too tight! Here are some typical excuses for skipping your workout and how to overcome them.
After a long day at work, I'm too tired to hit the gym
Do these two things: Put on your workout clothes as soon as the workday ends and make your path home go through the gym. Instead of heading straight home after work, where it's really tough to motivate yourself to leave again, schedule a gym stop into your evening commute. This way, the sight of other exercisers will motivate you too. Plus, isn't getting to the gym the hardest part? Once you make it there, all you need to do is go inside!
Exercising at home is so boring
Register for a holiday road race! The weeks leading up to Christmas are packed with holiday-themed 5K and 10K races. Find a training plan online (I like Couch to 5K and SmartCoach) to build up your endurance and keep you on track with your workouts—you're training for a race after all! Add your workouts to your daily calendar to keep you accountable to your race training so you'll stay motivated all through the holiday season and kick butt on race day!
The scale hasn't budged in weeks. Why even bother?
Don't let the scale discourage you! The last thing you want to do is cut back on your workouts when you've lost weight. Use those lost pounds as motivation to switch up your workouts. Turn up the intensity by adding 60-second intervals to your treadmill workouts, crank up the resistance on the elliptical, or increase the length of your session by 10 to 15 minutes. You'll stay motivated and burn more calories, so before you know it you'll see some changes on the scale. And, at the very least, you're feel great on New Year's Eve!
Spending 30 minutes on a cardio machine is slow torture
Schedule your sweat session around your favorite TV show. Select a few shows and add them to your weekly calendar, so you won't miss a program or a workout. Start your workout a few minutes before show time so you'll be inspired to push past the 30-minute mark to see how the show ends. Add some intervals to your workout by picking up the intensity during commercials. When you're entertained by your favorite show, your workout will fly by!