From cold snaps to Nor’easters, winter weather can be unpredictable and make it difficult to stay active. Add those conditions to the heavy responsibilities most of us already are juggling, and it’s not difficult to see how even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast can fall off the bandwagon during the winter months.
Although it takes commitment to stick to your exercise goals, the good news is that cold weather can force you to shake up your routine – and that’s a great way to increase your fitness level. A study conducted by researchers at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing found that highly active adults engage in a greater variety of physical activities than do less active adults.
If you can get outside, great. Since many of us are working at home now, you might have the ability to use your lunch hour to head out for a walk, run or walk/run combo, or a hike or bike ride. Colder climates demand that you layer your workout clothes and wear a hat. Although the claim that we lose 80 percent or more of our body heat through our heads has been largely debunked, any exposed area is going to feel cold fast. While you’re at it, add some gloves, too. Of course, if you’re going out before sunrise or after sunset, be sure to wear reflective clothing or a safety light and some running shoes with good traction, as the roads and sidewalks can become slippery this time of year.
When rain, snow or ice prevents you from taking your workout outdoors, no problem. There have never been more options for staying fit indoors. You don’t need to invest in an expensive workout machine to stay committed to your exercise routine. Allocate some space in your home and get your own gym started with a few basics: a yoga mat, which can also be used for cardio and other workouts; a jump rope (you can even find weighted ropes if you want to take it to the next level); resistance bands; a few sets of dumbbells; and/or a kettlebell.
The best part of the home gym experience is that you don’t have to design your own workouts. According to Statista, during the first quarter of 2019, the number of available health and fitness apps in the Google Play store reached 37,143, so you have no shortage of options for your home workout. If your budget allows and you need a jumpstart to get your fitness program back on track, you might also consider hiring a virtual personal trainer; their hourly rates vary according to your geographic location and trainer credentials/certifications.
If a home gym isn’t in your budget or your plans right now, don’t forget the value of simple outdoor activities like raking leaves, shoveling snow or walking your dog – or indoor activities like winter house cleaning. Any movement that raises the heart rate counts.
To help you stick to your fitness goals, consider a few tried-and-true strategies, like scheduling your workouts and blocking out the time on your calendar, exercising first thing in the morning before the demands on your time begin, signing up for a long-range goal like a virtual 5K, 10K or half-marathon, joining an accountability group among friends, or pairing up with a virtual buddy and checking in daily.
Whatever your choice of workout, it’s never been more important to prioritize your self-care for the sake of your immunity, your mood, and your overall health.
There are, of course, a number of gyms and facilities that have reopened to serve clients. Tiger-Rock Martial Arts of Hutto reopened in late September under new rules designed to ensure the safety of our students. Martial arts is an excellent way to improve focus, increase self-confidence and build strength. Contact Tiger-Rock Martial Arts today to learn more about how we can support your fitness goals in the New Year and beyond.
We can help you Staying Active During the Winter Months!