Ditch your ClassPass membership and join a fitness community
Once upon a time, ClassPass was the magical, membership-based fitness service that allowed users to attend unlimited gyms and workout classes for just $99 a month. But the honeymoon stage of an affordable ClassPass membership is over, with the price raised and the classes decidedly limited.
So stop being a disgruntled (not to mention broke!) customer and join a family of fitness-minded people instead! Social workout groups like Electric Flight Crew and November Project focus on building a community while you build your bod.
Both workouts are super-cheap (November Project is totally free, while Electric Flight Crew is just $1 for your first month), but the beers at the post-workout happy hours will cost you.
Curious about what fitness communities exist in your area? Check the November Project and Electric Flight Crew websites for details, and expand your search for other like-minded groups on Meetup.
Escape the craziness of a "nightclub gym" and embrace the serenity of a mindfulness studio
I don't know about you, but the world is enough of a zoo that I don't need my workouts to get any crazier. I'd rather leave crazy-loud beats, strobe lights, and choruses of "woos!" where they belong, which is any place that serves alcohol.
Yeah, I think the "gym-as-nightclub" trend is officially over. Sorry, David Barton. What the world needs now is a little peace, quiet, and reflection -- which is why a studio that focuses on mindfulness, meditation, and overall wellness should be one of your go-to spots in 2017. New York City's MNDFL and Los Angeles' The Den are spearheading the trend of an entirely new fitness concept: a workout for your mind.
Trade your seat on a SoulCycle bike for a spot in a treadmill studio
I declared SoulCycle classes "over" last year, but some people just didn't get the memo -- that, or it's actually a cult and people can't help themselves.
Whatever your reasons for continuing to dance mechanically atop an uncomfortable bike seat, hear me when I say this: Give your nether regions a break this year and try a class at a treadmill running studio.
New York City's Mile High Run Club and Boston's Heartbreak Hill Running Company are two great examples of group runs that guarantee you won't get left behind. The concept of running studios works just like a SoulCycle class, but with treadmills instead of stationary bikes. Instructors lead you through intervals, speedwork, and hill climbs that you perform atop a state-of-the-art treadmill. After one class, you'll banish the word "dreadmill" from your vocabulary.
Quit counting your steps and start measuring your heart rate
Reaching 10,000 steps in one day is quite the accomplishment -- so kudos to you, if a certain number of steps per day has been your goal. But the number of steps you take each day doesn't really tell you anything about your overall fitness level, nor can it help you improve.
If you want to measure something that can actually determine how hard you're working, how much harder you could be working, and what actually constitutes an "easy" day, stop counting your steps and start measuring your heart rate.
A heart rate monitor, which measures your pulse with a sensor built into a chest strap, can help you determine your maximum heart rate so you can ensure your easy workouts are easy enough to allow a full recovery, and your "hard" days are difficult enough to improve aerobic functionality while building your resistance to fatigue.
Buy a fitness tracker with a built-in heart rate monitor, or head to a studio like Orangetheory Fitness, where heart rate training is part of class.
Stop training for a ridiculously long marathon and work on your speed instead
OK, maybe posting photos of yourself with a finisher's medal is cool for whatever dating app you use, but let's be real: Didn't that race kind of suck? Did you vow never to do it again, but find yourself thinking about it anyway?
There's an easier way to get all of the glory of finishing a race without throwing your weekends and social life away. And that's by improving your speedwork! Register for a one-mile race -- a distance that's not only insanely manageable, but is rising in popularity -- or another unique distance like an 8K (which is just under five miles).
For a real challenge, register for the Wings for Life World Run and see how far you can run before the "Catcher Car" -- released 30 minutes after the start of every race location -- relieves your legs of their push-the-pace duties.
Cancel your upcoming yoga retreat and go on a fitness getaway instead
With local meditation and mindfulness studios more abundant than ever, you don't need to travel across the country, or even the world, to clear your mind and reset. So cancel that "life-changing" trip to Bali and opt for a full roster of active adventures at a fitness retreat.
Organizations like Ketanga Fitness, Travel with Lipstick, and Mile High Wings promise adventures to exotic destinations (think Costa Rica, Tulum, and more) that combine fitness and fun as you experience a new location. Not only will you get the chance to travel with like-minded people, you'll also have the chance to reinvigorate your fitness regimen and return without those extra 3lbs that usually sneak their way into your carry-on bag.
Ditch your focused workouts for a hybrid model
Your standard spin, yoga, and strength-training classes may feel safe, but if you want some real variety, try a hybrid workout that mixes up workout formats in a single class.
Studios like Los Angeles' Speedplay combine running, rowing, suspension training, and lifting for a high-intensity interval training workout that won't disappoint, YAS Fitness Centers combine yoga and spinning, and New York City's Box + Flow will get you revved up with a combination of hooks, jabs, and punches before stretching you out with an amazing flow on the floor.
These types of workouts not only keep you from getting bored with your workout routine, they also help prevent injury by not focusing on the same movements over and over again.