Work Out Inside
We know, you're an outdoorsy person, born with a pair of hiking boots on your feet and a staff in your hand. Still, there's a lot to say for heading indoors for your winter workouts. Consider:
- An indoor gym allows you to dress in shorts and a T-shirt, even when the weather outside is well below freezing.
- Exercising indoors gives you easy access to perks like hot tubs, showers, saunas, and massage tables. Can you say the same for the great outdoors?
- Switching to new digs offers you the chance to make new friends. It may even give you added zest for exercise, since it brings you into new surroundings.
There's no reason to limit yourself to the gym, of course. Lots of routines require no special equipment, making them ideal for home fitness buffs. Take a peek at these high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts to see what we mean, and grab some ideas here for basic equipment to include in your home gym, should you wish to.
Dealing with SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) afflicts millions of Americans, according to the National Institutes for Health. Sensitivity to SAD may be one reason why you resist exercising indoors. The effects of SAD can greatly contribute to lethargy and lack of motivation. But consider these options to help offset SAD and push yourself toward physical activity:
- Daily exposure to cool, white fluorescent light helps to replace the diminished sunlight of the winter season. This is the principle behind light box therapy.
- Sometimes counseling can help mitigate the effects of the disorder. So can medications. See your healthcare provider to learn more about your options.
- Try mixing an indoors routine with brisk outdoors walks. This is a great way to get a well-rounded workout.
Some people are diehard exercisers no matter what the temperatures. If you want to make the most of your outdoor adventures, here are some tips for getting your share of fitness in any kind of weather.
Dress in Layers
The people at The Boston Globe know a thing or two about staying warm in the winter. They recommend dressing in layers when you're out in the weather, noting that you'll stay warmer longer without a bulky jacket to constrict your movements. Plus, you can shed a layer if you get too warm.
Teaming up with someone else is a great way to enjoy physical activity, particularly if it’s a significant other. Working out as a couple offers benefits no matter what the weather is doing. These include:
- Accountability. Having someone in your life to keep you on the track can see you through those times when you’d rather do anything but exercise. Your partner can offer not only encouragement, but advice on making the most of your routines.
- Longevity: You'll work out for longer periods of time if you have a partner. Yet the time spent in exercise may actually seem shorter if you have someone to occupy your attention.
- A better relationship: People today are so busy with their careers and other responsibilities that their relationships often take a backseat. Exercise can strengthen the bonds between you and your partner, both by giving you more time together and providing a set of common goals for which to strive.
- Added safety: Partnering up means you'll have someone nearby if you suffer an injury or develop frostbite or hypothermia.
Staying physically active all year long is one of the best decisions anyone can make. Use the tips in this post to avoid problems and make the most of your workout. Come spring you'll look at your fitter, leaner body and feel well-deserved pride for sticking with it through the cold.