The thing I love and hate about Ohio weather is, if you wait a few minutes it will change. It’s great when the weather is bad, but unfortunately, it applies when the weather is good, too. What makes it so aggravating for me is that it makes it much harder to get acclimated.
I’m not a big fan of cold weather, but the winter is so much more tolerable if I can stay active.
To help you get through this winter, here are some things I do to keep moving. (Notice I don’t mention a treadmill. If you have one, you are already using it — or not.):
- Try to get outside everyday within reason. The more you are in the weather, the quicker you will get used to it.
- Be flexible. Take advantage of the good weather days. If it is clear and relatively warm, try to do a few more miles. If it is icy or storming, do something different.
- Find a safe place to walk in the dark or walk with friends. It’s dark in the morning and dark in the evening — you have to walk sometime.
- When walking in the dark, be safe. Wear reflective clothing, blinking lights and a headlamp. Let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone.
- Carry your cell phone — this is absolutely critical this time of year. Even if you feel safe, it’s a lot easier to slip, fall and get injured this time of year. Please carry your phone! I just read that smart phones can be affected by cold temps. Keep yours in a pocket close to your body if possible.
- If it is too icy or snowy for regular walking shoes, bundle up and wear snow boots or hiking boots. I love walking in the snow when all the sounds are muffled except for my feet crunching in the snow!
- I prefer to wear a gaiter around my neck rather than a scarf. I also have a great pair of “mittens” that open up to let my fingers out when my hands get too hot. I have hand warmers when my fingers can’t get warm. Wool socks are a must! Sometimes I put my technical shirt in the dryer for a couple of minutes before putting it on.
- If walking outside is not an option (I hear ya Canada!), and you don’t have a gym membership, there are a few options. Some malls and high schools open up to local walkers. A couple of our recreation centers have indoor tracks. And I even heard of tall buildings downtown that allow people to walk the stairs.
My walking mileage is going to reduce no matter what I do in the winter. To make up for the lack of mileage you can also cross train. Use whatever equipment you have at home, such as an elliptical or exercise bike. Exercise videos are relatively inexpensive. Lift weights. Or start a workout routine using exercises you learned in high school gym class: pushups, pullups, lunges, crunches… I have a Nike Fitness app on my iPod that is a great workout!
Here is another cliche — take a class. I just found out the rec center has reduced fees for people over 50. I might try yoga.
The added benefit of cross training is you will increase overall muscle tone, which we all probably need anyway.
The point is, the weather is no excuse to hibernate and lose the level of fitness we have worked so hard to build! (401)