Shorter days, colder weather, and that post holiday letdown can all leave workout motivation in short supply this time of year. But a sweat session could actually be exactly what you need. “All those feel-good vibes that comes from a good workout will distract you from all the stress you might be feeling,” says trainer Sam Karl of Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami, Florida.
There’s a trick to making exercise a priority and staying motivated: do something that’s more challenging than your go-to routine, he explains. Being bored could make any workout less effective because you’ll be dragging yourself through each minute of the clock.
If the treadmill in your basement is your best option or hitting the gym on your lunch break is the only way to squeeze in a session, make the most of it. “Push yourself because a steady pace will prevent you from seeing any changes in your body,” Karl says. Try his treadmill tricks to get the most out of your workout.
Interval Sprint Training
If you’re short on time, this is the workout for you. “You don’t have to do a super long workout to burn a lot of calories,” says Karl. “Anything that keeps your heart rate elevated, like a high-intensity interval session, will boost your metabolism for hours after you’re done working out.” During this 14-minute routine, alternate between a comfortable pace (5 or 6 mph) and gradually build up to a sprint in just three minutes. Complete the circuit four times total, but increase your speed by .5 on each sprint, ending with your fastest speed. (Do this entire 14-minute routine two to three times total.)
Time / Activity / Speed
- 5 minutes / warm-up with casual jog or walk / 4 mph
- 1 minute / jog (you can hold a convo with someone while running this speed) / 5-6 mph
- 1 minute / push-it-run (if you were talking, your sentences would be choppy) / 6.5-7.5 mph (or increase speed by one point from your jog)
- 30 seconds / sprint (this is an uncomfortable pace) / 8–10 mph (or higher)
- 30 seconds / recover walk / 4 mph
- Repeat steps 2-5 three more times then finish with a 5-minute recovery jog