4 Steps to Actually Making it to the Gym in this Godforesaken Tundra | Ro&Co

In this week’s installment of Ro&Co, my friend Claire, ex-college athlete and pre-med student, shares her tips for keeping to a workout plan in the winter so you can keep to your New Year’s resolutions!

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Running during the Winter can be a massive hassle, especially in Chicago. It’s really cold outside and it gets dark before 5 pm so if you want to run, you’re going to end up on a treadmill more often than not. Because treadmill running can get pretty redundant, here are a few of my tips for sticking out the winter months without too much misery or too many skipped workouts.

1. Bring Workout Clothes to Campus

Bringing my gym clothes to campus is one of the easiest steps I take to make sure I actually hit the gym. Before I started doing this, I’d have to go back to my apartment to change into running clothes. Way too often, once I got home, I stayed home and skipped the run all together.


Bringing running clothes to campus helps reduce the temptation to bail on the run. Also, I feel really dumb coming home with all my workout clothes without actually exercising (so that’s an important motivation too).

2. Procrastinate All At Once:

You know this feeling: you’ve been working in the library for a few hours and productivity starts to slide. First, you check your email a bunch, then facebook, then all of a sudden you’ve spent 20 minutes researching the JonBenet Ramsey case and you have a serious theory about who did it. Basically, you’re not getting work done.

When this happens to me (inevitably), I lean in to the disengagement from school and I head over to the gym. My theory is that you can’t make yourself study forever so you might as well take a break that feels somewhat productive. This allows me to clear my head for an hour or so and actually get sh*t done at the same time.

3. Distract Yourself During Cardio

One of the hardest things about treadmill running is the monotony. It can be really discouraging to spend 30 minutes watching the clock and on the monitor in front of you. Because of this, during my runs, I have to make sure I’m distracted to the fact that I’m tired. To do this, I watch TV. Downloading Netflix onto your phone is an easy way to give yourself access to tons of distracting content that prevents you from fully acknowledging your pain.

I like to pick high drama shows with a quick pace that keep me on my toes. Grey’s Anatomy is my current choice because crazy stuff goes down every episode and Shonda Rhimes lives for shock value. When I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy, I’m way more focused on who each unrealistically hot doctor is sleeping with than I am on my sweating and that’s a good thing!


Additionally, I try to only watch my ‘treadmill’ show at the gym; that way I have motivation to go when I need my fix!

4. Listen to Your Body

One way I make sure that I keep going back to the gym every day is by staying in touch with my body. If I’m really tired or feel miserable during a run, I’m not afraid to slow down the pace. That way, I can better ensure that I cover the distance I want without bailing on the run completely.

I make sure not to get discouraged about the pace I’m running at and I listen to my body as much as I can. It’s really important for me to remember that I’m not going to feel my absolute best every day and that helps me prevent a bad run from becoming a skipped run.


You can follow Claire on Instagram @clairedrigs!

What steps do you take to make it to the gym in the winter? Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Xoxo, Rosana

Claire is a double major in Biology and Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. She’s a fan of running, naps, and long winded rants.

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