How to avoid a winter workout rut

Sticking to a regular fitness routine is often more difficult in the cold, dark winter months. Here are tips to boost motivation and avoid a winter workout rut. PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP/Getty Images

TORONTO – Finding the motivation to exercise during the week is already difficult for most of us. Yet asking us to get off the couch (and out of our cozy pajamas) and into our workout gear during the cold, dark weather months makes the task, well, nearly impossible.

Global News spoke with personal trainer and diet expert Kathleen Trotter on how beat the winter workout blues.

Find a winter activity you enjoy

“You are more likely to stick to a workout routine if you enjoy it,” said Trotter.

The winter season is the perfect time to try a new winter sport like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or snowshoeing.

READ MORE: 5 cold weather exercise tips and guidelines

In order to beat the workout blahs, try a new winter sport . Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press

Mix up your routine

When you get the workout “blahs,” aim to challenge yourself by having a workout “adventure” once a week.

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“Mixing up my workouts helps to keep me motivated,” said Trotter. “Try a new group exercise class, sport, a different interval workout or running route.”

READ MORE: How to stay fit and healthy during the holidays

Bored of your workout? Try a new fitness class to spice up your fitness routine. AP Photo

Try interval training

“With interval training you alternate bouts of high and moderate activity,” said Trotter. Another bonus of interval training? Your workout will be over sooner, as some experts say interval training burns more calories in less time than just doing aerobic activity at a steady pace.

Running outside is a great way to introduce interval training. If you are afraid of heading outdoors and slipping on ice during the winter months, try intervals on any indoor workout machine like the bike, treadmill, rower or elliptical.

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Make working out a social activity – get a workout buddy or join a team

Whenever you need some extra motivation, make your workout a social activity.

“You are less likely to skip if your friends are waiting for you,” said Trotter. “Join a sports team or make dates with friends to go to exercises classes.”

Invest in fun new winter active wear

Trotter said you will never train outside if you don’t have the correct equipment and “you are more likely to keep running outside in the winter if you are warm and feel fashionable.”

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Sign up for a spring running race or a triathlon

Have a race or marathon in the spring? Begin to train for the event now.

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“Having an established (and paid for) goal will help motivated and get you to get on the treadmill and/or bike,” said Trotter.