5 Clever Ways To Trick Yourself Into Working Out When You Really Don't Want To

Let Rosie Huntington-Whiteley coax you out from under the duvet and into your trainers

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Between the miserable weather, the abundance of cosy blankets on your couch and that lingering Christmas hangover, it can be pretty hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym at the best of times. But at this time of year, it can seem near impossible.

Luckily for you, we've got some top motivational tips to help you kickstart your fitness routine in 2017 - even when working up a sweat is the last thing you feel like doing.

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1. Start with baby steps

If you're out of practice, going for a 10-mile run or a three-hour cycle can seem pretty daunting. But just going for a short jog or doing a few squats can make all the difference when it comes to being more active. It's easy to convince yourself to get off the sofa if you say you only have to do a few minutes. Then once you've started, you'll often just keep it going.

According to ELLE's January cover star - businesswoman, actress and supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - it's all about making exercise part of your daily routine, even if you can't hit the spinning studio every day of the week. "I try to be physical or get my heart rate up at least once a day," she says.

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2. Treat yourself to some chic new athleisure

You know how excited you were to debut those new patent-leather booties you bought yourself for Christmas? It almost made you look forward to going to work. Well the same theory can apply to workout gear.

If you find it difficult to spring out of bed in the morning for an early trip to the fitness studio, seeing some dreamy exercise clothes just waiting to be worn is a great motivator. Rosie's new Autograph collection for M&S waves goodbye to the era of functional and boring workout clothes, and ushers in a new generation of cool and modern gym attire that's all about building confidence and making women feel great.

High-performance sports bras and leggings are made sophisticated with cut-out details and elegant panelling, while a muted colour palette and chic jackets make for tasteful, stylish layering.

"I always feel my best in the gym while working out," says the 29-year-old model. "I love to see my posture and my physicality: seeing my body doing the things it's supposed to do… that's when I feel my sexiest and most powerful."

3. Channel your inner Beyonce

Convincing yourself to brave the cold to go for a morning run? Not always easy. But heading out to an impromptu dance party? That's a bit more palatable.

Fitness enthusiast Rosie - who hits the gym five or six times a week - motivates herself by embracing the fun side of fitness. She favours a dance class called Body By Simone, which helps her get her clubbing fix. "You learn dance routines and the music is really loud, like nightclub music, so your inner pop star is unleashed for 55 minutes."

4. Make it social

If you're the only one involved in your exercise, it's easy to hit snooze and duck back under the duvet without anyone ever finding out. But if you include another person in your workout routine, it adds an extra layer of accountability. Whether you go for a swim with a friend, book a session with a trainer or sign up for a group class, that level of social commitment makes you less likely to back out.

Even if you are just hitting the gym on your own, make your intentions public on social media. And, of course, there's no shame in following it up with a post-workout selfie. Those new leggings deserve to be seen.

5. Get inside your head

Between social commitments and latent work stress, it can often feel impossible to be alone with your thoughts after a long week. The good news is that working out can be as beneficial to your mind as it is to your body.

If you think of your fitness routine as doing double-duty, it can add an extra layer of motivation. That gym session isn't just tightening your abs, it's rebooting your mental health. "Going to the gym is my time, I don't want to be distracted," says Rosie. "It's a time when I feel like I need to be focused on myself because it's like a form of meditation."

To shop Rosie's new activewear collection, visit marksandspencer.com.

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