How Wellness Experts Stay Motivated To Hit The Gym

The holidays are upon us. You have a massive turkey dinner to plan, gifts to shop for and parties to attend. Working out just doesn’t make your to-do list this time of year and honestly, your fitness motivation is at an all-time low anyway. I get it. The last thing you feel like doing after you leave work and it’s already dark out is hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes. Besides, you’re going to be wearing big sweaters, not bikinis, for the next few months. You’re not alone. Even the most dedicated gym rats have moments where they want to be doing anything besides working out, which made me wonder how some of the nation’s top wellness pros stay on their game year-round. I asked. They spilled. Here’s a look at what they had to say.

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 Amanda Murdock, Power Yoga and SLT Instructor

image: Amanda Murdock

image: Amanda Murdock

“I like to mix it up, so if I’ve been teaching yoga all day I want to either take a spin class or actually do some of my own HIIT workouts at the gym. This way I can step out of that environment and into something completely different. I know the endorphin rush from working out will banish the tiredness that I feel from teaching all day. That said, I also know when to take a break. Exercise is not a race; it’s a lifelong journey. Therefore, if my body is saying stop I try to honor that because I know rest days are of utmost importance to actually making breakthroughs in one’s regime.”

Jennifer Bandier, Owner of Bandier

image: jennifer bandier

image: jennifer bandier

“A fantastic outfit always gets me moving and puts me in the best mood. At Bandier, my Southampton boutique, we carry more than 50 brands of the most amazing activewear from all over the world. It makes me feel so excited and happy to know that Bandier is inspiring women of all ages to look and feel their best through fitness and fashion. Another factor that motivates me to the maximum is music. It’s essential to my workout. I always make incredible playlists. Currently I’m obsessed with Dr. Dre’s new album, anything from my favorite girls TLC, The Weekend, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

Ayana Curtis, Instructor at SoulCycle

 

image: ayana curtis

image: ayana curtis

“A lot of my motivation comes from the women who ride with me on a daily basis. Their dedication and commitment is amazing. They come rain or shine, snow and holidays to get their daily dose of Soul. My riders show up because they want to and that in turn fires me up and keeps me inspired to continue to work on myself, whether it be to take a fellow instructor’s class or hit up my favorite yoga studio. I love being inspired by another instructor’s music and words of encouragement. What keeps me motivated is being a part of a community that comes together to inspire one another.”

Harley Pasternak, Celebrity Trainer and New Balance Ambassador

harley pasternak

image: harley pasternak

“A great way to motivate is to skip the coffee machine and walk to your local coffee shop for your morning Joe to get extra steps. Working out with a partner also helps motivate me. I also think wearing the right shoes is crucial since comfortable, light and good looking ones will make us more likely to move.”

Amanda Foti, Registered Dietitian from Selvera

image: amanda foti

image: amanda foti

“What I recommend to my clients is first and foremost pick activities that you actually enjoy to do. If you hate running but set goals that involve jogging three times a week you’re setting yourself up to experience more challenge than necessary. My personal go-to recently has been kickboxing. Whether it’s early in the morning or late at night, I’m usually looking forward to going because I have so much fun, not to mention I feel like a badass after! The second tip I have is to visualize your plan ahead of time and get your mindset right. Come up with an exercise plan at the beginning of the week for specific workouts on specific days. If you’re setting vague goals of ‘I will work out more this week’ then there isn’t much to hold you accountable. Schedule it into your week as if it were another obligation like an appointment.”

Farouk Houssein, Instructor at The Fhitting Room

image: farouk houssein

image: farouk houssein

“As a competitive athlete, I personally stay motivated to train on days that I do not feel like doing anything by focusing on the competitive side of fitness, specifically the people out there making my weaknesses their strengths. That right there lights a fire underneath me. Along with that, being a trainer, instructor and coach, I want to be the best role model and inspiration that I can be and what better way to do so then to practice what you preach.”

Megan Smyth, Founder of FitReserve

image: megan smyth

image: megan smyth

“Since I get bored easily, I always mix up my workouts and try new studios and classes to keep my workouts fun and stay motivated. Trampoline classes, AcroYoga, pole dancing and more, think of it as a fun new activity instead of a ‘workout.’ Step outside your comfort zone, get out there and play and you just may discover a new passion and new way to get fit.”

Samantha Skolkin, Instructor at KORE

image: samantha skolkin

image: samantha skolkin

“Some days I am very motivated and others I dread dragging myself out of bed to exercise, but I never let myself skip a day because I always have to ask myself why I started. After I leave the gym I feel amazing and am one step closer to my goals.”

Jenna Mazanowski, Instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp

image: jenna mazanowski

image: jenna mazanowski

“I am motivated to work out knowing that a good sweat and hard physical effort bring a clear mind. I look at working out at the gym or taking a group class as time I give to myself to recharge my brain.”

Nikki Warren, Founder of Kaia FIT

NikkiHeadshot1

image: nikki warren

“The way I stay motivated personally is by making goals and creating non-negotiable rituals surrounding my fitness program. Through Kaia FIT, our year is scheduled in five-week and six-week themed sessions that focus on building and sustaining healthy diet and exercise habits. We encourage our Kaia women to set goals for each session, keeping them motivated and looking forward. I follow suit and set internal goals and share them with my Kaia teammates. They keep me accountable and excited to jump out of bed in the morning.”

Eric Orton, Run Coach and Author of The Cool Impossible

credit: eric orton

image: eric orton

“I have found that using social media to document my training day in a training tip format helps motivate me to get to the gym. A lot of my own training is focused on experimentation and working on ‘new’ forms of strength training exercises and philosophies to keep advancing my effectiveness as a coach. This is a very creative time for me, which is super motivating to me during the winter months and keeps my appetite going for my own athletic development. In the cold winter months, sometimes I will create a daily adventure to just get to the gym.  For example, I may run to the gym, do some climbing and strength training and then run home, or I’ll bundle up, jump on my snow bike and ride to the gym. Building this daily adventure into your gym time keeps it fun and motivating because you begin to treat this like an event or personal challenge.”