Winter is upon us in the Northeast. When the weather gets colder, it often gets harder to exercise regularly compared to fall, spring and summer. But it doesn't have to be so hard. You still have plenty of options and no really good excuses for getting totally out of shape this winter. The nice weather is just around the corner, even though it doesn't feel like it. So it's time to get ready now.
Whether your goal is to cycle a hundred miles in the spring, compete in a triathlon this summer, play in the workplace softball league, run around with your kids without hurting yourself or go on day hikes with your boyfriend, the time is now to begin preparing. Doing so will make your training more effective and reduce the risk of injuries that can come from being de-conditioned.
With that said, here are some simple tips for staying fit this winter.
Exercise During the Day. It may not be motivating to go to the gym when it is pitch black early in the morning or freezing when you leave work. So, perhaps try going to the gym on your lunch break. Maybe to do this you can arrive at work earlier or leave work later to make up for your lunchtime workout. You might be surprised how much better you feel in the afternoon work hours after getting your sweat on at lunch! This is especially the case on those stressful days dealing with your boss or disgruntled customers.
Gear Up! Riding a bike or jogging into freezing cold 15 mile per hour winds just isn't fun. But wearing the right cold weather gear will make this easier and more enjoyable. Have you ever tried running outdoors with some comfy, windproof gore running gear? It can actually be quite refreshing. Doing so with snow on the ground around you can be meditative and relazing. Give it a shot!
Exercise at Home. You may already have a home exercise routine. If so, keep it up! If you don't, perhaps now is a good time to start. You don't need to be at the gym or running in the park to get a great workout. With some bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, a few dumbbells or kettlebells and perhaps an indoor trainer for your bike, you'll have no problem getting a good workout at home. In other words, no excuses!
Find An Exercise Partner: Need a push.? Want some accountability? Well then find yourself a gym buddy or running group to help get you off the couch and moving. It's not easy to go it alone for everyone in the dark days of winter. So find someone who is committed, fun to be around and who has a similar style and work ethic to you.
Exercise Classes: Whether you enjoy group exercise classes or not, taking them when it's cold outside might provide some extra incentive and consistency. Exercising alongside others in a fun and supportive community with an inspiring instructor might be what gets you motivated to exercise when you are more inclined to lay on the couch underneath a warm blanket with the dog.
Personal Training: Having consistent 1-on-1 or semi-private personal training sessions will provide guidance, motivation and accountability. It can also help you reach your short and long-term fitness goals more effectively than going it alone, especially if you have ambitious fitness and performance goals for the winter or even in the spring and summer. It's never too early to start training as long as it's safe and effective.