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5 Tips to Avoid a Winter Fitness Rut

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This post is in cooperation with the #teamNFC program at National Fitness Center.

We’ve all been there, more interested in cozying up to a winter fireplace (or television) and sipping hot cocoa than in getting off the couch to move.  As the season of short winter days tends to send us indoors and lessen our motivation, here are five tips to avoid a winter fitness rut.


  1. Don’t go it alone.  Does your gym offer a buddy membership of some kind?  It’s a great way to get a friend or relative in the routine of heading to a workout along with you.  Do you already enjoy an occasional fitness class, but find yourself skipping it more often this winter?  Challenge your classmates to attend with you, and plan a social time to grab a smoothie or just chat afterward, as a reward for showing up.
  2. Let the music move you.  Music can help you pick up your pace and endure a more grueling workout.  Researchers may have found a sweet spot for motivating people while exercising at around 145 beats per minute.  Scientific American cites research on various tempos to determine what helps people reach optimal performance.
  3. Set goals.  Ready to get serious about not just maintaining, but improving your fitness this winter?  A personal trainer can help you set attainable goals and hold you accountable through regular workouts.  PT pros also have detailed information about what you can do in the kitchen to support what you’re trying to accomplish in the gym.
  4. Track your progress.  Giving yourself a pat on the back for any fitness effort can help. Even better is tracking your progress in some way.  You can download the free National Fitness Center app by Netpulse for a free way to log your workouts.  Think of how much progress you could make, even in small increments, by summer swimsuit season.
  5. Mix it up.  Feeling bored or just unmotivated? Give yourself permission to choose something fun and different to try at the fitness center.  Never rock climbed?  Get certified to try it.  Haven’t played basketball in years?  Join a pick-up game.  Simply going swimming with your kids can still burn off calories, even if it doesn’t feel like a workout.  Have you sampled any free classes during something like a Les Mills launch day? Here’s a look at that coming up for Knoxville in January. You don’t even have to be a member to attend:
  • Friday, January 13: Mini Les Mills launch at the Alcoa Highway club
    Body Pump at 4:30 pm
    Body Jam at 5:30 pm
  • Saturday, January 14: Big Les Mills launch at West Signature club
    8:00 am Body Pump
    9:05 am GRIT
    9:40 am Body Attack
    10:45 am Body Step
    11:50 am Body Combat

Still need some motivation to get moving?  Maybe these #teamNFC fitness pros will inspire you to at least dance your way through a more fit holiday season!  If you decide to check out one of the 9 National Fitness Center locations in East Tennessee, tell them Anne sent you.

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